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< >ii wliich the old squire stuffed the big paper into my 
arms." Frontispiece. 








[ous SCHOOL 

I "^ 

Copyright, 1891, 

Copyright, 1900, 

A II rights reserved 



MOTHER is always trying to make us love our neigh- 
bors as ourselves. 

She does so despise us for greediness, or grudging 
or snatching, or not sharing what we have got, or 
taking the best and leaving the rest, or helping our- 
selves first, or pushing forward, or praising Number 
One, or being Dogs in the Manger, or anything selfish, 
And we cannot bear her to despise us ! 

We despise being selfish, too ; but very often we 
forget. Besides, it is sometimes rather difficult to 
love your neighbor as yourself when you want a thing 
very much ; and Arthur says he believes it is partic- 
ularly difficult if it is your next-door-neighbor, and 
that that is why Father and the Old Squire quarrelled 
about the footpath through Mary's Meadow. 

The Old Squire is not really his name, but that is 
what people call him. He is very rich. His place 
comes next to ours, and it is much bigger, and he has 
quantities of fields, and Father has only got a few ; 
but there are two fields beyond Mary's Meadow which 


belong to Father, though the Old Squire wanted to 
buy them. Father would not sell them, and he says 
he has a right of way through Mary's Meadow to go 
to his fields, but the Old Squire says he has nothing 
of the kind, and that is what they quarrelled about. 

Arthur says if you quarrel, and are too grown-up 
to punch each other's heads, you go to law; and if 
going to law doesn't make it up, you appeal. They 
went to law, I know, for Mother cried about it ; and 
I suppose it did not make it up, for the Old Squire 

After that he used to ride about all day on his grey 
horse, with Saxon, his yellow bull-dog, following him, 
to see that we did not trespass on Mary's Meadow. 
I think he thought that if we children were there, 
Saxon would frighten us, for I do not suppose he 
knew that we knew him. But Saxon used often to 
come with the Old Squire's Scotch Gardener to see 
our gardener, and when they were looking at the wall 
fruit, Saxon used to come snuffing after us. 

He is the nicest dog I know. He looks verv sav- 

o .* 

age, but he is only very funny. His lower jaw sticks 
out, which makes him grin, and some people think 
he is gnashing his teeth with rage. We think it 
looks as if he were laughing like Mother Hubbard's 
dog, when she brought home his coffin, and he wasn't 
dead but it really is only the shape of his jaw. I 
loved Saxon the first day I saw him, and he likes me, 


and licks my face. But what he likes best of all are 
Bath Oliver Biscuits. 

One clay the Scotch Gardener saw me feeding him, 
and he pulled his red beard, and said "Ye do weel 
to mak hay while the sun shines, Saxon, my man. 
There's sma' sight o' young leddies and sweet cakes 
at hame for ye ! " And Saxon grinned, and wagged 
his tail, and the Scotch Gardener touched his hat to 
me, and took him away. 

The Old Squire's Weeding Woman is our nursery- 
maid's aunt. She is not very old, but she looks so, 
because she has lost her teeth, and is bent nearly 
double. She wears a large hood, and carries a big 
basket, which she puts down outside the nursery door 
when she comes to tea with Bessy. If it is a fine 
afternoon, and we are gardening, she lets us borrow 
the basket, and then we play at being weeding women 
in each other's gardens. 

She tells Bessy about the Old Squire. She says 
" He do be a real old skinflint, the Old Zquire a be ! " 
But she thinks it " zim as if 'twas having ne'er a 
a wife nor child for to keep the natur in 'un, so his 
heart do zim to shrivel, like they walnuts Butler tells 
us of as a zets down for desart. The Old Zquire he 
mostly eats ne'er a one now's teeth be so bad. But 
a counts them every night when's desart's done. And 
a keeps 'em till the karnels be mowldy, and a keeps 
'em till they be dry, and a keeps 'em till they be dust ; 


and when the karnels is dust, a cracks aal the lot of 
'em when desart's done, zo's no one mayn't have no 
good of they walnuts, since they be no good to he." 

Arthur can imitate the Weeding Woman exactly, 
and he can imitate the Scotch Gardener, too. Chris 
(that is Christopher, our youngest brother), is very 
fond of "The Zquire and the Walnuts." He gets 
nuts, or anything, like shells or bits of flower-pots, 
that will break, and something to hit with, and when 
Arthur comes to " The karnels It dust" Chris smashes 
everything before him, shouting, "A cracks aal the lot 
of 'em" and then he throws the bits all over the place, 
with " They be no good to he" 

Father laughed very much when he heard Arthur 
do the Weeding Woman, and Mother could not help 
laughing, too; but she did not like it, because she 
does not like us to repeat servants' gossip. 

The Weeding Woman is a great gossip. She gos- 
sips all the time she is having her tea, and it is gen- 
erally about the Old Squire. She used to tell Bessy 
that his flowers bloomed themselves to death, and the 
fruit rotted on the walls, because he would let nothing 
be picked, and gave nothing away, except now and 
then a grand present of fruit to Lady Catherine, for 
which the old lady returned no thanks, but only a 
rude message to say that his peaches were over-ripe, 
and he had better have sent the grapes to the In- 
firmary. Adela asked " Why is the Old Squire so 


kind to Lady Catherine ? " and Father said " Be- 
cause we are so fond of Lords and Ladies in this 
part of the country." I thought he meant the lords 
and ladies in the hedges, for we are very fond of 
them. But he didn't. He meant real lords and 

There are splendid lords and ladies in the hedges 
of Mary's Meadow. I never can make up my mind 
when I like them best. In April and May, when 
they have smooth plum-colored coats and pale green 
cowls, and push up out of last year's dry leaves, or 
in August and September, when their hoods have fall- 
en away, and their red berries shine through the 
dusty grass and nettles that have been growing up 
round them all the summer out of the ditch. 

Flowers were one reason for our wanting to go to 
Mary's Meadow. Another reason was the nightin- 
gale. There was one that used always to sing there, 
and Mother had made us a story about it. 

We are very fond of fairy books, and one of our 
greatest favorites is Bechstein's ;< As Pretty as Seven." 
It has very nice pictures, and we particularly like 
" The Man in the Moon, and How He Came There ; " 
but the story doesn't end well, for he came there by 
gathering sticks on Sunday, and then scoffing about 
it, and he has been there ever since. But Mother 
made us a new fairy tale about the nightingale in 
Mary's Meadow being the naughty woodcutter's only 


child, who was turned into a little brown bird that 
lives on in the woods, and sits on a tree on summer 
nights, and sings to its father up in the moon. 

But after our Father and the Old Squire went to 
law, Mother told us we must be content with hearing 
the nightingale from a distance. We did not really 
know about the lawsuit then, we only understood 
that the Old Squire was rather crosser than usual \ 
and we rather resented being warned not to go into 
Mary's Meadow, especially as Father kept saying we 
had a perfect right so to do. I thought that Mother 
was probably afraid of Saxon being set at us, and of 
course I had no fears about him. Indeed, I used to 
wish that it could happen that the Old Squire, riding 
after me as full of fury as King Padella in the " Rose 
and the Ring," might set Saxon on me, as the lions 
were let loose to eat the Princess Rosalba. " In- 
stead of devouring her with their great teeth, it was 
with kisses they gobbled her up. They licked her 
pretty feet, they nuzzled their noses in her lap," and 
she put her arms " round their tawny necks and 
kissed them." Saxon gobbles us with kisses, and 
nuzzles his nose, and we put our arms round his 
tawny neck. What a surprise it would be to the Old 
Squire to see him ! And then I wondered if my feet 
were as pretty as Rosalba's, and I thought they were, 
and I wondered if Saxon would lick them, supposing 
that by any possibility it could ever happen that I 


should be barefoot in Mary's Meadow at the mercy 
of the Old Squire and his bull-dog. 

One does not, as a rule, begin to go to bed by 
letting down one's hair, and taking off one's shoes 
and stockings. But one night I was silly enough to 
do this, just to see if I looked (in the mirror) at all 
like the picture of Rosalba in the "Rose and the 
Ring." I was trying to see my feet as well as my 
hair, when I heard Arthur jumping the three steps in 
the middle of the passage between his room and 
mine. I had only just time to spring into the win- 
dow seat, and tuck my feet under me, when he gave 
a hasty knock, and bounced in with his telescope in 
his hand. 

" Oh, Mary," he cried, " I want you to see the Old 
Squire, with 'a great-coat over his evening clothes, 
and a squosh hat, marching up and down Mary's 

And he pulled up my blind, and threw open the 
window, and arranged the telescope for me. 

It was a glorious night. The moon was rising 
round and large out of the mist, and dark against its 
brightness I could see the figure of the Old Squire 
pacing the pathway over Mary's Meadow. 

Saxon was not there ; but on a slender branch of a 
tree in the hedgerow sat the nightingale, singing to 
comfort the poor, lonely old Man in the Moon. 



LADY CATHERINE is Mother's aunt by marriage, 
and Mother is one of the few people she is not rude 

She is very rude, and yet she is very kind, espe- 
cially to the poor. But she does kind things so 
rudely, that people now and then wish that she 
would mind her own business instead. Father says 
so, though Mother would say that that is gossip. But 
I think sometimes that Mother is thinking of Aunt 
Catherine when she tells us that in kindness it is not 
enough to be good to others, one should also learn to 
be gracious. 

Mother thought she was very rude to her once, 
when she said, quite out loud, that Father is very ill- 
tempered, and that, if Mother had not the temper of 
an angel, the house could never hold together. Moth- 
er was very angry, but Father did not mind. He says 
our house will hold together much longer than most 
houses, because he swore at the workmen, and went 
to law with the builder for using dirt instead of mortar, 
so the builder had to pull down what was done wrong, 
and do it right ; and Father says he knows he has a 


bad temper, but he does not mean to pull the house 
over our heads at present, unless he has to get bricks 
out to heave at Lady Catherine if she becomes quite 

We do not like dear Father to be called bad- 
tempered. He comes home cross sometimes, and 
then we have to be very quiet, and keep out of the 
way; and sometimes he goes out rather cross, but 
not always. It was what Chris said about that that 
pleased Lady Catherine so much. 

It was one day when Father came home cross, and 
was very much vexed to find us playing about the 
house. Arthur had got a new adventure book, and 
he had been reading to us about the West Coast of 
Africa, and niggers, and tom-toms, and "going Fan- 
tee ;" and James gave him a lot of old corks out of 
the pantry, and let him burn them in a candle. It 
rained, and we could not go out ; so we all blacked 
our faces with burnt cork, and played at the West 
Coast in one of the back passages, and at James 
being the captain of a slave ship, because he tried to 
catch us when we beat the tom-toms too near him 
when he was cleaning the plate, to make him give us 
rouge and whitening to tattoo with. 

Dear Father came home rather earlier than we 
expected, and rather cross. Chris did not hear the 
front door, because his ears were pinched up with 
tying curtain rings on to them, and just at that minute 


he shouted, " I go Fantee ! " and tore his pinafore 
right up the middle, and burst into the front hall with 
it hanging in two pieces by the armholes, his eyes 
shut, and a good grab of James's rouge powder 
smudged on his nose, yelling and playing the tom- 
tom on what is left of Arthur's drum. 

Father was very angry indeed, and Chris was sent 
to bed, and not allowed to go down to dessert ; and 
Lady Catherine was dining at our house, so he missed 

Next time she called, and saw Chris, she asked 
him why he had not been at dessert that night. 
Mother looked at Chris, and said " Why was it Chris ? 
Tell Aunt Catherine." Mother thought he would 
say "Because I tore my pinafore, and made a noise 
in the front hall." But he smiled, the grave way 
Chris does, and said, ''Because Father came home 
cross." And Lady Catherine was pleased, but Moth- 
er was vexed. 

I am quite sure Chris meant no harm, but he does 
say very funny things. Perhaps it is because his 
head is rather large for his body, with some water 
having got into his brain when he was very little, so 
that we have to take great care of him. And though 


he does say very odd things, very slowly, I do not 
think any one of us tries harder to be good. 

I remember once Mother had been trying to make 
us forgive each other's trespasses, and Arthur would 


say that you cannot make yourself feel kindly to them 
that trespass against you; and Mother said if you 
make yourself do right, then at last you get to feel 
right ; and it was very soon after this that Harry and 
Christopher quarrelled, and would not forgive each 
other's trespasses in the least, in spite of all that I 
could do to try and make peace between them. 

Chris went off in the sulks, but after a long time I 
came upon him in the toy-cupboard, looking rather 
pale and very large-headed, and winding up his new 
American top, and talking to himself. 

When he talks to himself he mutters, so I could 
only just hear what he was saying, and he said it 
over and over again : 

" Dos first and feels afterwards" 

" What are you doing, Chris ? ' : I asked. 

"I'm getting ready my new top to give to Harry. 
Dos first and feels afterwards" 

" Well," I said, " Christopher, you are a good boy." 

" I should like to punch his head," said Chris 
and he said it in just the same sing-song tone " but 
I'm getting the lop ready. Dos first and feels after- 

And he went on winding and muttering. 

Afterwards he told me that the " feels ' : came 
sooner than he expected. Harry wouldn't take his 
top, and they made up their quarrel. 

Christopher is very simple, but sometimes we think 


he is also a little sly. He can make very wily ex- 
cuses about things he does not like. 

He does not like Nurse to hold back his head and 
wash his face ; and at last one day she let him go 
downstairs with a dirty face, and then complained to 
Mother. So Mother asked Chris why he was so 
naughty about having his face washed, and he said, 
quite gravely, " I do think it would be such pity if the 
water got into my head again by accident." Mother 
did not know he had ever heard about it, but she 
said, " Oh, Chris ! Chris ! that's one of your excuses." 
And he said, " It's not my 'scusis. She lets a good 
deal get in at my ears and lather too." 

But, with all his whimsical ways, Lady Catherine 
is devoted to Christopher. She likes him far better 
than any one of us, and he is veiy fond of her ; and 
they say quite rude things to each other all along. 
And Father says it is very lucky, for if she had not 
been so fond of Chris, and so ready to take him too, 
Mother would never have been persuaded to leave 
us when Aunt Catherine took them to the South of 

Mother had been very unwell for a long time. She 
has so many worries, and Dr. Solomon said she 
ought to avoid worry, and Aunt Catherine said wor- 
ries were killing her, and Father said " Pshaw ! " 
and Aunt Catherine said " Care killed the cat," and 
that a cat has nine lives, and a woman has only one ; 


and then Mother got worse, and Aunt Catherine 
wanted to take her abroad, and she wouldn't go ; 
and then Christopher was ill, and Aunt Catherine said 
she would take him too, if only Mother would go 
with her ; and Dr. Solomon said it might be the 
turning-point of his health, and Father said, "the 
turning-point which way ? ' but he thanked Lady 
Catherine, and they didn't quarrel ; and so Mother 
yielded, and it was settled that they should go. 

Before they went, Mother spoke to me, and told me 
I must be a Little Mother to the others whilst she 
was away. She hoped we should all try to please 
Father, and to be unselfish with each other ; but she 
expected me to try far harder than the others, and 
never to think of myself at all, so that I might fill her 
place whilst she was away. So I promised to try, 
and I did. 

We missed Christopher sadly. And Saxon missed 
him. The first time Saxon came to see us after 
Mother and Chris went away, we told him all about 
it, and he looked very sorry. Then we said that he 
should be our brother in Christopher's stead, whilst 
Chris was away ; and he looked very much pleased, 
and wagged his tail, and licked our faces all round. 
So we told him to come and see us very often. 

He did not, but we do not think it was his fault. 
He is chained up so much. 

One day Arthur and I were walking down the road 


outside the Old Squire's stables, and Saxon smelt us, 
and we could hear him run and rattle his chain, and 
he gave deep, soft barks. 

Arthur laughed. He said, " Do you hear Saxon, 
Mary? Now I dare say the Old Squire thinks he 
smells tramps and wants to bite them. He doesn't 
know that Saxon smells his new sister and brother, 
and wishes he could go out walking with them in 
Mary's Meadow." 


NOTHING comforted us so much whilst Mother and 
Chris were away as being allowed to play in the 

We were not usually allowed to be there so often, 
but when we asked Father he gave us leave to amuse 
ourselves there at the time when Mother would have 
had us with her, provided that we did not bother him 
or hurt the books. We did not hurt the books, and 
in the end we were allowed to go there as much as 
we liked. 

We have plenty of books of our own, and we have 
new ones very often : on birthdays and at Christmas. 
Sometimes they are interesting, and sometimes they 
are disappointing. Most of them have pretty pictures. 


It was because we had been rather unlucky for some 
time, and had had disappointing ones on our birth- 
days, that Arthur said to me, "Look here, Mary, I'm 
not going to read any books now but grown-up ones, 
unless it is an Adventure Book. I'm sick of books 
for young people, there's so much stuff 'in them." 

We call it -r/V^when there seems to be going to be 
a story and it comes to nothing but talk ; and we call 
it stuff when there is a very interesting picture, and 
you read to see what it is about, and the reading does 
not tell you, or tells you wrong. 

Both Arthur and Christopher had had disappoint- 
ments in their books on their birthdays. 

Arthur jumped at his book at first, because there 
were Japanese pictures in it, and Uncle Charley had 
just been staying with us, and had brought beautiful 
Japanese pictures with him, and had told us Japanese 
fairy tales, and they were as good as Bechstein. So 
Arthur was full of Japan. 

The most beautiful picture of all was of a stork, 
high up in a tall, tall pine tree, and the branches of 
the pine tree, and the cones, and the pine needles 
were most beautifully drawn ; and there was a nest 
with young storks in it, and behind the stork and the 
n?st and the tall pine the sun was blazing with all his 
rays. And Uncle Charley told us the story to it, and 
it was called " the Nest of the Stork." 

So when Arthur saw a stork standing among pine 


needles in his new book he shouted with delight, though 
the pine needles were rather badly done, with thick 
strokes. But presently he said, " It's not nearly so 
good a stork as Uncle Charley's. And where's the 
stem of the pine? It looks as if the stork were on 
the ground and on the top of the pine tree, too, and 
there's no nest. And there's no sun. And, oh ! 
Mary, what do you think is written under it ? ' Crane, 
and Water-reeds? Well, I do call that a sell ! " 

Christopher's disappointment was quite as bad. 
Mother gave him a book with very nice pictures, 
particularly of beasts. The chief reason she got it 
for him was that there was such a very good picture 
of a toad, and Chris is so fond of toads. For months 
he made friends with one in the garden. It used to 
crawl away from him, and he used to creep after it, 
talking to it, and then it used to half begin to crawl 
up the garden wall, and stand so, on its hind legs, 
and let Chris rub its wrinkled back. The toad in the 
picture was exactly like Christopher's toad, and he 
ran about the house with the book in his arms beg- 
ging us to read him the story about Dear Toady. 

We were all busy but Arthur, and he said, "I want 
to go on with my water-wheel." But Mother said, 
" Don't be selfish, Arthur." And he said, " I forgot. 
All right, Chris ; bring me the book." So they went 
and sat in the conservatory, not to disturb anyone. But 
very soon they came back, Chris crying, and saying, 


"It couldn't be the right one, Arthur;" and Arthur 
frowning, and saying, " It is the right story ; but it's 
stuff. I'll tell you what that book's good for, Chris 
To paint the pictures. And you've got a new paint- 
box." So Mother said, " What's the matter ? " And 
Arthur said, " Chris thinks I haven't read him the 
right story to his Toad Picture. But I have, and 
what do you think it's about ? It's about the silliest 
little girl you can imagine a regular mawk of a girl 
and a frog. Not a toad, but a F. R. O. G. frog ! 
A regular hop, skip, jumping frog ! >: 

Arthur hopped round the room, but Chris cried 
bitterly. So Arthur ran up to him, and kissed him, 
and said, "Don't cry, old chap. I'll tell you what 
I'll do. You get Mary to cut out a lot of the leaves 
of your book that have no pictures, and that will make 
it like a real scrap-book ; and then I'll give you a lot 
of my scraps and pictures to paste over what's left of 
the stories, and you'll have such a painting-book as 
you never had in all your life before." 

So we did. And Arthur was very good, for he 
gave Chris pictures that I know he prized, because 
Chris liked them. But the very first picture he gave 
him was the " Crane and Water-reeds." 

I thought it so good of Arthur to be so nice with 
Chris that I wished I could have helped him over his 
water-wheel. He had put Japan out of his head 
since the disappointment, and spent all his play-time 


in making mills and machinery. He did grind some 
corn into flour once, but it was not at all white. He 
said that was because the bran was left in. But it 
was not only bran in Arthur's flour. There was a 
good deal of sand too, from his millstones being made 
of sandstone, which he thought would not matter. 
But it grinds off. 

Down in the valley, below Mary's Meadow, runs 
the Ladybrook, which turns the old water-wheel of 
Mary's Mill. It is a very picturesque old mill, and 
Mother has made beautiful sketches of it. She caught 
the last cold she got before going abroad with sketch- 
ing it the day we had a most delightful picnic there, 
and went about in the punt. And from that after- 
noon Arthur made up his mind that his next mill 
should be a water mill. 

The reason I am no good at helping Arthur about 
his mills is that I am stupid about machinery ; and I 
was so vexed not to help him, that when I saw a book 
in the library which I thought would do so, I did not 
stop to take it out, for it was in four very large vol- 
umes, but ran off at once to tell Arthur. 

He said, "What is the matter, Mary?" 

I said, "Oh, Arthur! I've found a book that will 
tell you all about mills; and it is the nicest smelling 
book in the Library." 

"The nicest smelling'} What's that got to do with 


" Nothing, of course. But it's bound in russia, and 
I am so fond of the smell of russia. But that's noth- 
ing. It's a Miller's Dictionary, and it is in four huge 
volumes, 'with plates.' I should think you could 
look out all about every kind of mill there ever was a 
miller to." 

" If the plates give sections and diagrams " Ar- 
thur began, but I did not hear the rest, for he started 
off for the library at once, and I ran after him. 

But when we got Miller's Dictionary on the floor, 
how he did tease me ! For there was nothing about 
mills or millers in it. It was a Gardener's and Bot- 
anist's Dictionary, by Philip Miller ; and the plates 
were plates of flowers, very truly drawn, like the pine 
tree in Uncle Charley's Jap. picture. There were 
some sections too, but they were sections of green- 
houses, not of any kinds of mills or machinery. 

The odd thing was that it turned out a kind of help 
to Arthur after all. For we got so much interested 
in it that it roused us up about our gardens. We are 
all very fond of flowers, I most of all. And at last 
Arthur said he thought that miniature mills were 
really rather humbugging things, and it would be 
much easier and more useful to build a cold frame to 
keep choice auriculas and half-hardies in. 

When we took up our gardens so hotly, Harry and 
Adela took up theirs, and we did a great deal, for the 
weather was fine. 


We were surprised to find that the Old Squire's 
Scotch Gardener knew Miller's Gardener's Dictionary 
quite well. He said, " It's a gran' wurrk ! " (Arthur 
can say it just like him.) 

One day he wished he could see it, and smell the 
russia binding ; he said he liked to feel a nice smell. 
Father was away, and we were by ourselves, so we 
invited him into the library. Saxon wanted to come 
in too, but the gardener was very cross with him, and 
sent him out ; and he sat on the mat outside and 
dribbled with longing to get in, and thudded his stiff 
tail whenever he saw anyone through the doorway. 

The Scotch Gardener enjoyed himself very much, 
and he explained a lot of things to Arthur, and helped 
us to put away the Dictionary when we had done 
with it. 

When he took up his hat to go, he gave one long 
look all round the library. Then he turned to Arthur 
(and Saxon took advantage of this to wag his way in 
and join the party), and said, " It's a rare privilege, 
the free entry of a book chamber like this. I'm 
hoping, young gentleman, that you're not insensible 
of it?" 

Then he caught sight of Saxon, and beat him out 
of the room with his hat. 

But he came back himself to say, that it might just 
happen that he would be glad now and again to hear 
what was said about this or that plant (of which he 


would write down the botanical name) in these noble 

So we told him that if he would bring Saxon to see 
us pretty often, we would look out anything he wanted 
to know about in Miller's Gardener's Dictionary. 


LOOKING round the library one day, to see if I 
could see any more books about gardening, I found 
the Book of Paradise. 

It is a very old book, and very queer. It has a 
brown leather back not russia and stiff little gold 
flowers and ornaments all the way down, where Mil- 
ler's Dictionary has gold swans in crowns, and orna- 

There are a good many old books in the library, 
but they are not generally very interesting at least 
not to us. So when I found that though this one had 
a Latin name on the title page, it was written in 
English, and that though it seemed to be about Para- 

O ' O 

dise, it was really about a garden, and quite common 
flowers, I was delighted, for I always have cared more 
for gardening and flowers than for any other amuse- 
ment, long before we found Miller's Gardener's Die- 


denary. And the Book of Paradise is much smaller 
than the dictionary, and easier to hold. And I like 
old, queer things, and it is very old and queer. 

The Latin name is, '" Paradisi in sole, Paradisus 
terrestris" which we do not any of us understand, 
though we are all learning Latin ; so we call it the 
Book of Paradise. But the English name is "Or a 
Garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our 
English ayre will permitt to be noursed up;" and on 
the top of every page is written "The Garden of 
Pleasant Flowers," and it says " Collected by John 
Parkinson, Apothecary of London, and the King's 
Herbarist, 1629." 

I had to think a minute to remember who was the 
king then, and it was King Charles I. ; so then I 
knew that it was Queen Henrietta to whom the book 
was dedicated. This was the dedication : 


"Madame, Knowing your Majesty so much de- 
lighted with all the fair flowers of a Garden, and fur- 
nished with them as far beyond others as you are 
eminent before them ; this my Work of a Garden 
long before this intended to be published, and but 
now only finished, seemed as it were destined to be 
first offered into your Highness's hands as of right, 
challenging the propriety of Patronage from all others. 
Accept, I beseech your Majesty, this speaking Gar- 


den, that may inform you in all the particulars of 
your store as well as wants, when you cannot see any 
of them fresh upon the ground : and it shall further 
encourage him to accomplish the remainder; who in. 
praying that your Highness may enjoy the heavenly 
Paradise, after many years' fruition of this earthly, 
submitted! to be your Majesties, 

" In all humble devotion, 


We like queer old things like this, they are so 
funny! I liked the Dedication, and I wondered if 
the Queen's Garden really was an Earthly Paradise, 
and whether she did enjoy reading John Parkinson's 
book about flowers in the winter time, when her own 
flowers were no longer "fresh upon the ground." 
And then I wondered what flowers she had. and I 
looked out a great many of our chief favorites, and she 
had several kinds of them. 

We are particularly fond of Daffodils, and she had 
several kinds of Daffodils, from the " Primrose Peer- 
lesse," * " of a sweet but stuffing scent," to " the 
least Daffodil of all," f which the book says "was 
brought to us by a Frenchman called Francis le Vean, 
the honestest root-gatherer that ever came over to us." 

The Queen had Cowslips too, though our gardener 

* Narcissus media lutens vulgaris. 

t Narcissus minimus, Parkinson. N. minor, Miller 


despised them when he saw them in my garden. I 
dug mine up in Mary's Meadow before Father and 
the Old Squire went to law ; but they were only com- 
mon Cowslips, with one Oxlip, by good luck. In the 
Earthly Paradise there were "double Cowslips, one 
within another." And they were called Hose-in-Hose. 
I wished I had Hose-in-Hose. 

Arthur was quite as much delighted with the Book 
of Paradise as I. He said, " Isn't it funny to think 
of Queen Henrietta Maria gardening. I wonder if 
she went trailing up and down the walks looking like 
that picture of her we saw when you and I were in 
London with Mother about our teeth, and went to see 
the Loan Collection of Old Masters. I wonder if the 
Dwarf picked the flowers for her. I do wonder what 
Apothecary John Parkinson looked like when he 
offered his Speaking Garden into her Highnesses' 
hands. And what beautiful hands she had ! Do you 
remember the picture, Mary? It was by Vandyke." 

I remembered it quite well. 

That afternoon the others could not amuse them- 
selves, and wanted me to tell them a story. They 
do not like old stories too often, and it is rather diffi- 
cult to invent new ones. Sometimes we do it by 
turns. We sit in a circle and one of us begins, and 
the next must add something, and so we go on. But 
that way does not make a good plot. My head was 
so full of the Book of Paradise that afternoon that I 


could not think of a story, but I said I would begin 
one. So I began : 

" Once upon a time there was a Queen " 

" How was she dressed ? " asked Adela, who thinks 
a good deal about dress. 

" She had a beautiful dark-blue satin robe." 

" Princesse shape ? "' inquired Adela. 

" No ; Queen's shape," said Arthur. " Drive on, 

"And lace ruffles falling back from her Highness 1 

" Sweet ! "' murmured Adela. 

"And a high hat, with plumes, on her head, and " 

" A very low dwarf at her heels," added Arthur. 

"Was there really a dwarf, Mary?'" asked Harry. 

" There was," said I. 

"Had he a hump, or was he only a plain dwarf? '' 

" He was a very plain dwarf," said Arthur. 

"Does Arthur know the story, Mary?' 1 

" No, Harry, he doesn't ; and he oughtn't to inter- 
fere till I come to a stop." 

" Beg pardon, Mary. Drive on." 

" The Queen was very much delighted with all fair 
flowers, and she had a garden so full of them that it 
was called the Earthly Paradise." 

There was a long-drawn and general " Oh ! " of 

" But though she was a Queen, she couldn't have 


flowers in the winter, not even in an Earthly Para- 

" Don't you suppose she had a greenhouse, by-the- 
bye, Mary ? " said Arthur. 

"Oh, Arthur," cried Harry, "I do wish you'd be 
quiet: when you know it's a fairy story, and that 
Queens of that sort never had greenhouses or any- 
thing like we have now." 

" And so the King's Apothecary and Herbarist, 
whose name was John Parkinson " 

" I shouldn't have thought he would have had a 
common name like that," said Harry. 

"Bessy's name is Parkinson," said Adela. 

" Well, I can't help it ; his name was John Park- 


" Drive on, Mary ! " said Arthur. 

"And he made her a book, called the Book of 
Paradise, in which there were pictures and written 
accounts of her flowers, so that when she could not 
see any of them fresh upon the ground, she could 
read about them, and think about them, and count 
up how many she had." 

" Ah, but she couldn't tell. Some of them might 
have died in the winter," said Adela. 

"Ah, but some of the others might have got little 
ones at their roots," said Harry. " So that would 
make up." 

I said nothing. I was glad of the diversion, for I 


could riot think how to go on with the story. Before 
I quite gave in, Harry luckily asked, "Was there a 
Weeding Woman in the Earthly Paradise ? " 

" There was," said I. 

" How was she dressed ? " asked Adela. 

" She had a dress the color of common earth." 

"Princesse shape?"' inquired Arthur. 

" No ; Weeding Woman shape. Arthur, I wish 
you wouldn't " 

"All right, Mary. Drive on." 

"And a little shawl, that had partly the color of 
grass, and partly the color of hay." 

" Hay, dear 1" interpolated Arthur, exactly imitat- 
ing a well-known sigh peculiar to Bessy's aunt. 

" Was her bonnet like our weeding woman's bon- 
net ?" asked Adela, in a disappointed tone. 

" Much larger," said I, " and the color of a Mari- 

Adela looked happier. " Strings the same ? " sh& 

" No. One string canary color, and the other white." 

"And a basket?" asked Harry. 

"Yes, a basket, of course. Well, the Queen had 
all sorts of flowers in her garden. Some of them 
were natives of the country, and some of them were 
brought to her from countries far away, by men called 
Root-gatherers. There were very beautiful Daffodils 


in the Earthly Paradise, but the smallest of all the 

" A Dwarf, like the Hunchback ? " said Harry. 

"The Dwarf Daffodil of all was brought to her by 
a man called Francis le Vean." 

" That was a much nicer name than John Parkin- 
son," said Harry. 

" And he was the honestest Root-gatherer that ever 
brought foreign flowers into the Earthly Paradise." 

" Then I love him ! " said Harry. 


ONE sometimes thinks it is very easy to be good, 
and then there comes something which makes it very 

I liked being a Little Mother to the others, and 
almost enjoyed giving way to them. " Others first, 
Little Mothers afterwards," as we used to say till 
the day I made up that story for them out of the Book 
of Paradise. 

The idea of it took our fancy completely, the others 
as well as mine, and though the story was constantly 
interrupted, and never came to any real plot or end, 
there were no Queens, or dwarfs, or characters of any 


kind in all Bechstein's fairy tales, or even in Grimm, 
more popular than the Queen of the Blue Robe and 
her Dwarf, and the Honest Root-gatherer, and John 
Parkinson, King's Apothecary and Herbarist, and 
the Weeding Woman of the Earthly Paradise. 

When I said, " Wouldn't it be a good new game to 
have an Earthly Paradise in our gardens, and to have 
a King's Apothecary and Herbarist to gather things 
and make medicine of them, and an honest Root- 
gatherer to divide the polyanthus plants and the bulbs 
when we take them up, and divide them fairly, and a 
Weeding Woman to work and make things tidy, and 
a Queen in a blue dress, and Saxon for the Dwarf ' 
the others set up such a shout of approbation that 
Father sent James to inquire if we imagined that he 
was going to allow his house to be turned into a bear- 

And Arther said, " No. Tell him we're only turn- 
ing it into a Speaking Garden, and we're going to 
turn our own gardens into an Earthly Paradise." 

But I said, " Oh, James ! please don't say anything 
of the kind. Say we're very sorry, and we will be 
quite quiet." 

And James said, " Trust me, Miss. It would be a 
deal more than my place is worth to carry Master 
Arthur's messages to his Pa." 

" I'll be the honestest Root-gatherer," said Harry. 
"I'll take up Dandelion roots to the very bottom 



and sell them to the King's Apothecary to make 
Dandelion tea of." 

" That's a good idea of yours, Harry," said Arthur, 
"I shall be John Parkinson " 

"My name is Francis le Vean," said Harry. 

"King's Apothecary and Herbarist," continued 
Arthur disdaining the interruption. "And I'll bet 
you my Cloth of Gold Pansy to your Black Prince that 
Bessy's aunt takes three bottles of my dandelion and 
chamomile mixture for ' the swimmings,' bathes her 
eyes every morning with my elder flower lotion to 
strengthen the sight, and sleeps every night on my 
herb pillow (if Mary'll make me a flannel bag) before 
the week's out." 

" I could make you a flannel bag," said Adela, " if 
Mary will make me a bonnet, so that I can be the 
Weeding Woman. You could make it of tissue paper, 
with stiff paper inside, like all those caps you made 
for us last Christmas, Mary, dear, couldn't you ? 
And there is some lovely orange-colored paper, I 
know, and pale yellow, and white. The bonnet was 
Marygold-color, was it not ? And one string canary- 
colored and one white. I couldn't tie them, of course, 
being paper; but Bessy's aunt doesn't tie her bonnet. 
She wears it like a helmet, to shade her eyes. I 
shall wear mine so, too. It will be all Marygold, 
won't it dear ? Front and crown ; and the white 
string going back over one shoulder, and the canary 


string over the other. They might be pinned to- 
gether behind, perhaps, if they were in my way. 
Don't you think so ? " 

I said "Yes," because if one does not say some- 
thing, Adela never stops saying whatever it is she is 
saying, even if she has to say it two or three times 

But I felt so cross and so selfish, that if Mother 
jould have known she would have despised me ! 

For the truth was, I had set my heart upon being 
the Weeding Woman. I thought Adela would want 
to be the Queen, because of the blue dress, and the 
plumed hat, and the lace ruffles. Besides, she likes 
picking flowers, but she never liked grubbing. She 
would not really like the Weeding Woman's work ; it 
was the bonnet that had caught her fancy, and I 
found it hard to smother the vexing thought that if I 
had gone on dressing the Weeding Woman of the 
Earthly Paradise like Bessy's aunt, instead of trying 
to make the story more interesting by inventing a 
marygold bonnet with yellow and white strings for 
her, I might have had the part I wished to play in 
our new game (which certainly was of my devising), 
and Adela would have been better pleased to be the 
Queen than to be anything else. 

As it was, I knew that if I asked her she would 
give up the Weeding Woman. Adela is very good, 
and she is very good-natured. And I knew, too, that 


it would not have cost her much. She would have 
given a sigh about the bonnet, and then have turned 
her whole attention to a blue robe, and how to man- 
age the ruffles. 

But even whilst I was thinking about it, Arthur 
said: "Of course, Mary must be the Queen, unless 
we could think of something else very good for 
her. If we could have thought of something, Mary, 
I was thinking how jolly it would be, when Mother 
comes home, to have had her for the Queen, with 
Chris for her Dwarf, and to give her flowers out of 
our Earthly Paradise." 

" She would look just like a Queen," said Harry. 

" In her navy blue nun's cloth and Russian lace," 
said Adela. 

That settled the question. Nothing could be so 
nice as to have Mother in the game, and the plan, 
provided for Christopher also. I had no wish to be 
Queen, as far as that went. Dressing up, and walk- 
ing about the garden would be no fun for me. I 
really had looked forward to clearing away big bas- 
kets full of weeds and rubbish, and keeping our five 
gardens and the paths between them so tidy as they 
had never been kept before. And I knew the weeds 
would have a fine time of it with Adela, as Weeding 
Woman, in a tissue paper bonnet ! 

But one thing was more important than tidy gar- 
dens not to be selfish. 


I had been left as Little Mother to the others, and 
I had been lucky enough to think of a game that 
pleased them. If I turned selfish now, it would spoil 

So I said that Arthur's idea was excellent; that I 
had no wish to be Queen, that I thought I might, 
perhaps, devise another character for myself by-and- 
by ; and that if the others would leave me alone, I 
would think about it whilst I was making Adela's 

The others were quite satisfied. Father says peo- 
ple always are satisfied with things in general, when 
they've got what they want for themselves, and I 
think that is true. 

I got the tissue paper and the gum ; resisted Ade- 
la's extreme desire to be with me and talk about the 
bonnet, and shut myself up in the library. 

I got out the Book of Paradise too, and propped it 
up in an armchair, and sat on a footstool in front of 
it, so that I could read in between whiles of making 
the bonnet. There is an index, so that you can look 
out the flowers you want to read about. It was no 
use our looking out flowers, except common ones, 
such as Harry would be allowed to get bits of out of 
the big garden to plant in our little gardens, when he 
became our Honest Root-gatherer. 

I looked at the Cowslips again. I am very fond 
of them, and so they say, are nightingales ; which is, 



perhaps, why that nightingale we know lives in Mary's 
Meadow, for it is full of cowslips. 

The Queen had a great manykinds, and there are 
pictures of most of them. She had the Common 
Field Cowslip, the Primrose Cowslip, the Single Green 
Cowslip. Curled Cowslips, or Galligaskins, Double 
Cowslips, or Hose-in-Hose, and the Franticke or 
Foolish Cowslip, or Jackanapes on Horsebacke. 

I did not know any of them except the Common 
Cowslip, but I remembered that Bessy's aunt once 
told me that she had a double cowslip. It was the 
day I was planting common ones in my garden, when 
our gardener despised them. Bessy's aunt despised 
them too, and she said the double ones were only fit 
for a cottage garden. I laughed so much that I tore 
the canary-colored string as I was gumming it on to 
the bonnet, to think how I could tell her now that 
cowslips are Queen's flowers, the common ones as 
well as the Hose-in-Hose. 

Then I looked out the Honeysuckle, it was page 
404, and there were no pictures. I began at the be- 
ginning of the chapter; this was it, and it was as fun- 
nily spelt as the preface, but I could read it. 

" Chap. cv. Peridymemum. Honeysuckles. 

" The Honisucle that groweth wilde in euery hedge, 
although it be very sweete, yet doe I not bring it into 
my garden, but let it rest in his owne place, to serue 
their senses that trauell by it, or haue no garden." 


I had got so far when James came in. He said- 
" Letters, Miss." 

It was the second post, and there was a letter for 
me, and a book parcel ; both from Mother. 

Mother's letters are always delightful ; and, like 
things she says, they often seem to come in answer 
to something you have been thinking about, and 
which you would never imagine she could know, un- 
less she was a witch. This was the knowing bit in that 
letter : " Your dear father's note this morning did me 
more good than bottles of tonic. It is due to you, my 
trustworthy little daughter, to tell you of the bit that 
pleased me most. He says ' The children seem to me to 
be behaving unusually well, and I must say, I believe 
the credit belongs to Mary. She seems to have a genius 
for keeping them amused, which luckily means keeping 
them out of mischief. ' Now, good Little Mother, I won- 
der how you yourself are being entertamed ? I hope the 
others are not presuming on your unselfishness ? Any- 
how, I send you a look for your own amusement when 
they leave you a bit of peace and quiet % I have long been 
fond of it in French, and I have found an English 
tra?islation with nice little pictures, and send it to you. 
I know you will enjoy it, because you are so fond of 

Oh, how glad I was that I had let Adela be the 
Weeding Woman with a good grace, and could open 
my book parcel with a clear conscience I 


I put the old book away and buried myself in the 
new one. 

I never had a nicer. It was called " A Tour Round 
my Garden," and some of the little stories in it like 
the Tulip Rebecca, and the Discomfited Florists 
were very amusing indeed ; and some were sad and 
pretty, like the Yellow Roses ; and there were deli- 
cious bits, like the Enriched Woodman and the Con- 
noisseur Deceived ; but there was no " stuff " in it 
at all. 

Some chapters were duller than others, and at last 
I got into a very dull one, about the vine, and it had 
a good deal of Greek in it, and we have not begun 

But after the Greek, and the part about Bacchus 
and Anacreon (I did not care about them ; they were 
not in the least like the Discomfited Florists, or the 
Enriched Woodman !) there came this, and I liked it 
the best of all : 

" At the extremity of my garden the vine extends 
in long porticos, through the arcades of which may 
be seen trees of all sorts, and foliage of all colors. 
There is an azerolier (a small medlar) which is cov- 
ered in autumn with little apples, producing the richest 
effect. I have given away several grafts of this ; far 
from deriving pleasure from the privation of others, 
I do my utmost to spread and render common and 
vulgar all the trees and plants that I prefer; it is 


as if I multiplied the pleasure and the chances of 
beholding them of all who, like me, really love flow- 
ers for their splendor, their grace, and their perfume. 
Those who, on the contrary, are jealous of their 
plants, and only esteem them in proportion with 
their conviction that no one else possesses them, do 
not love flowers ; and be assured that it is either 
chance or poverty which has made them collectors of 
flowers, instead of being collectors of pictures, cam- 
eos, medals, or any other thing that might serve as an 
excuse for indulging in all the joys of possession, 
seasoned with the idea that others do not possess. 

" I have even carried the vulgarisation of beautiful 
flowers farther than this. 

" I ramble about the country near my dwelling, and 
seek the widest and least frequented spots. In these, 
after clearing and preparing a few inches of ground, 
I scatter the seeds of my most favorite plants, which 
re-sow themselves, perpetuate themselves, and multi- 
ply themselves. At this moment, whilst the fields 
display nothing but the common red poppy, strollers 
find with surprise in certain wild nooks of our country, 
the most beautiful double poppies, with their white, 
red, pink, carnation, and variegated blossoms. 

" At the foot of an isolated tree, instead of the little 
bindweed with its white flower, may sometimes be 
found the beautifully climbing convolvulus major, of 
all the lovely colors that can be imagined. 


" Sweet peas fasten their tendrils to the bushes, 
and cover them with the deliciously-scented white, 
rose-color, or white and violet butterflies. 

" It affords me immense pleasure to fix upon a 
wild-rose in the hedge, and graft upon it red and 
white cultivated roses, sometimes single roses of a 
magnificent golden yellow, then large Provence roses, 
or others variegated with red and white. 

"The rivulets in our neighborhood do not produce 
on their banks these forget-me-nots, with their blue 
flowers, with which the rivulet of my garden is 
adorned ; I mean to save the seed, and scatter it in 
my walks. 

" I have observed two young wild quince trees in 
the nearest wood ; next spring I will engraft upon 
them two of the best kinds of pears. 

"And then, how I enjoy beforehand and in imagi- 
nation, the pleasure and surprise which the solitary 
stroller will experience when he meets in his rambles 
with those beautiful flowers and these delicious fruits ! 

" This fancy of mine may, one day or another, cause 
some learned botanist who is herborising in these parts 
a hundred years hence, to print a stupid and startling 
system. All these beautiful flowers will have become 
common in the country, and will give it an aspect 
peculiar to itself; and, perhaps, chance or the wind 
will cast a few of the seeds or some of them amidst 
the grass which shall cover my forgotten grave ! " 


This was the end of the chapter, and then there 
was a vignette, a very pretty one, of a cross-marked, 
grass-bound grave. 

Some books, generally grown-up ones, put things 
into your head with a sort of rush, and now it sud- 
denly rushed into mine " That' s what P II be I I can 
think of a name hereafter but that's what I'll do. 
I'll take seeds and cuttings, and off-shoots from out 
garden, and set them in waste-places, and hedges, 
and fields, and I'll make an Earthly Paradise of 
Mary's Meadow." 


THE only difficulty about my part was to find a 
name for it. I might have taken the name of the 
man who wrote the book it is Alphonse Karr, just 
as Arthur was going to be called John Parkinson. 
But I am a girl, so it seemed silly to take a man's 
name. And I wanted some kind of title, too, like 
King's Apothecary and Herbarist, or Weeding Wom- 
an, and Alphonse Karr does not seem to have had 
any by-name of that sort. 

I had put Adela's bonnet on my head to carry it 
safely, and was still sitting thinking, when the others 
burst into the library. 


Arthur was first, waving a sheet of paper ; but when 
Adela saw the bonnet, she caught hold of his arm 
and pushed forward. 

" Oh, it's sweet ! Mary, dear, you're an angel. 
You couldn't be better if you were a real milliner and 
lived in Paris. I'm sure you couldn't." 

"Mary," said Arthur, "remove that bonnet, which 
by no means becomes you, and let Adela take it into 
a corner and gibber over it to herself. I want you to 
hear this." 

"You generally do want the platform/' I said, 
laughing. "Adela, I am very glad you like it. To- 
morrow, if I can find a bit of pink tissue-paper, I 
think I could gum on little pleats round the edge of 
the strings as a finish." 

I did not mind how gaudily I dressed the part of 
Weeding Woman now. 

"You are good, Mary. It will make it simply per- 
fect ; and, kilts don't you think ? Not box pleats ? " 

Arthur groaned. 

"You shall have which you like, dear. Now, Ar- 
thur, what is it ? " 

Arthur shook out his paper, gave it a flap with the 
back of his hand, as you do with letters when you are 
acting, and said " It's to Mother, and when she gets 
it, she'll be a good deal astonished, I fancy." 

When I had heard the letter, 1 thought so, too. 

" ' To the Queen's Most Excellent Majestic.' ' 
Page 41. 



" My dear Mother, This is to tell you that we have 
made you Queen of the Blue Robe, and that your son 
Christopher is a dwarf, and we think you'll both be 
very much pleased when you hear it. He can do as 
he likes about having a hump back. When you come 
home we shall give faire flowers into your Highnesse 
hands that is if you'll do what I'm going to ask you, 
for nobody can grow flowers out of nothing. I want 
you to write to John write straight to him, don't put 
it in your letter to Father and tell him that you have 
given us leave to have some of the seedlings out of 
the frames, and that he's to dig us up a good big 
clump of daffodils out of the shrubbery and we'll 
divide them fairly, for Harry is the Honestest Root- 
gatherer that ever came over to us. We have turned 
the whole of our gardens into a Paradisi in sole Par 
adisus terrestris, if you can construe that ; but we must 
have something to make a start. He's got no end of 
bedding things over that are doing nothing in the 
Kitchen Garden and might just as well be in our 
Earthly Paradise. And please tell him to keep us a 
tiny pinch of seed at the bottom of every paper when 
he is sowing the annuals. A little goes a long way, 
particularly of poppies. And you might give him a 
hint to let us have a flower-pot or two now and then 
(I'm sure he takes ours if he finds any of our dead 
window plants lying about), and that he needn't be 


so mighty mean about the good earth in the potting 
shed, or the labels either, they're dirt cheap. Mind 
you write straight. If only you let John know that 
the gardens don't entirely belong to him, you'll see 
that what's spare from the big garden would more 
than set us going; and it shall further encourage him 
to accomplish the remainder, who in praying that 
your Highnesse may enjoy the heavenly Paradise 
after the many years fruition of this earthly, 

" Submitteth to be, Your Maiestie's, in all humble 
devotion, JOHN PARKINSON, 

" King's Apothecary and Herbarist. 

" P. S. It was Mary's idea." 

" My dear Arthur ! " said I. 

"Well, I know it's not very well mixed," said Ar- 
thur. " Not half so well as I intended at first. I 
meant to write it all in the Parkinson style. But then, 
I thought, if I put the part about John in queer lan- 
guage and old spelling, she mightn't understand what 
we want. But every word of the end comes out of 
the Dedication ; I copied it the other day, and I 
think she'll find it a puzzlewig when she comes to it." 

After which Arthur folded his paper and put it into 
an envelope which he licked copiously, and closed 
the letter with a great deal of display. But then his 
industry coming to an abrupt end, as it often did, he 
tossed it to me saying, " You can address it, Mary ; " 


so I enclosed it in my own letter to thank Mother for 
the book, and I fancy she did write to our gardener, 
for he gave us a good lot of things, and was much 
more good-natured than usual. 

After Arthur had tossed his letter to me, he clasped 
his hands over his head and walked up and down 
thinking. I thought he was calculating what he 
should be able to get out of John, for when you are 
planning about a garden, you seem to have to do so 
much calculating. Suddenly he stopped in front of 
me and threw down his arms. "Mary," he said, "if 
Mother were at home, she would despise us for self- 
ishness, wouldn't she just ? " 

" I don't think it's selfish to want spare things for 
our gardens, if she gives us leave," said I. 

"I'm not thinking of that," said Arthur; "and 
you're not selfish, you never are ; but she would 
despise me, and Adela, and Harry, because we've 
taken your game, and got our parts, and you've made 
that preposterous bonnet for Adela to be the Weed- 
ing Woman in much she'll weed ! " 

" I shall weed," said Adela. 

" Oh, yes ! You'll weed, Groundsel ! and leave 
Mary to get up the docks and dandelions, and clear 
away the heap. But, never mind. Here we've taken 
Mary's game, and she hasn't even got a part." 

" Yes," said I, " I have ; I have got a capital part. 
I have only to think of a name." 


" How shall you be dressed ? '" asked Adela. 

"I don't know yet, 5 ' said I. "I have only just 
thought of the part." 

"Are you sure it's a good-enough one ? "' asked 
Harry, with a grave and remorseful air ; " because, if 
not, you must take Francis le Vean. Girls are called 
Frances sometimes." 

I explained, and I read aloud the bit that had 
struck my fancy. 

Arthur got restless half-way through, and took out 
the Book of Paradise. His letter was on his mind. 
But Adela was truly delighted. 

" Oh, Mary," she said, " it is lovely. And it just 
suits you. It suits you much better than being a 

" Much better," said 1. 

" You'll be exactly the reverse of me," said Harry. 
" When I'm digging up, you'll be putting 1 in." 

"Mary," said Arthur, from the corner where he 
was sitting with the Book of Paradise in his lap, 
" what have you put a mark in the place about honey- 
suckle for? " 

" Oh, only because I was just reading there when 
James brought the letters." 

" John Parkinson can't have been quite so nice a 
man as Alphonse Karr," said Adela; "not so unself- 
ish. He took care of the Queen's Gardens, but he 


didn't think of making the lanes and hedges nice for 
poor wayfarers." 

I was in the rocking-chair, and I rocked harder to 
shake up something that was coming into my head. 
Then I remembered. 

" Yes, Adela, he did a little. He wouldn't root up 
the honeysuckle out of the hedges (and I suppose he 
wouldn't let his root-gatherers grub it up, either) ; he 
didn't put it in the Queen's Gardens, but left it wild 
outside " 

" To serve their senses that travel by it, or have 
no garden," interrupted Arthur, reading from the 
book, "and, oh, Mary! that reminds me travel 
travellers. I've got a name for your part just coming 
into my head. But it dodges out again like a wire 
worm through a three pronged fork. Travel trav- 
eler travelers what's the common name for the oh, 
dear ! the what's his name that scrambles about in 
the hedges. A flower you know ? " 

" Deadly Nightshade ? " said Harry. 

" Deadly fiddlestick ! " 

" Bryony ? " I suggested. 

"Oh, no; it begins with C." 

" Clematis ? " said Adela. 

" Clematis. Right you are, Adela. And the com- 
mon name for Clematis is Traveller's Joy. And 
that's the name for you, Mary, because you're going 


to serve their senses that travel by hedges and ditches 
and perhaps have no garden." 

" Traveller's Joy," said Harry. " Hooray ! " 

" Hooray ! " said Adela, and she waved the Weed- 
ing Woman's bonnet. 

It was a charming name, but it was too good for 
me, and I said so. 

Arthur jumped on the rockers, and rocked me to 
stop my talking. When I was far back, he took the 
point of my chin in his two hands and lifted up my 
cheeks to be kissed, saying in his very kindest way, 
'' It's not a bit too good for you it's you all over." 

Then he jumped off as suddenly as he had jumped 
on, and as I went back with a bounce he cried, "Oh, 
Mary ! give me back that letter. I must put another 
postscript and another puzzlewig. P.P.S. Excellent 
Majesty: Mary will still be our Little Mother on all 
common occasions, as you wished, but in the Earthly 
Paradise we call her Traveller's Joy." 


THERE are two or three reasons why the part of 
Traveller's Joy suited me very well. In the first 
place it required a good deal of trouble, and I like 
taking trouble. Then John was willing to let me do 


many things he would not have allowed the others to 
do, because he could trust me to be careful and to 
mind what he said. 

On each side of the long walk in the kitchen gar- 
den there are flowers between you and the vegeta- 
bles, herbaceous borders, with nice big clumps of 
things that have suckers, and off-shoots and seedlings 
at their feet. 

"The Long Walk's the place to steal from if I 
wasn't an honest Root-gatherer," said Harry. 

John had lovely poppies there that summer. When 
I read about the poppies Alphonse Karr sowed in the 
wild nooks of his native country, it made me think of 
John's French poppies, and paeony poppies, and ra- 
nunculus poppies, and carnation poppies, some very 
large, some quite small, some round and neat, some 
full and ragged like Japanese chrysanthemums, but 
all of such beautiful shades of red, rose, crimson, 
pink, pale blush, and white, that if they had but smelt 
like carnations instead of smelling like laudanum 
when you have the toothache, they would have been 
quite perfect. 

In one way they are nicer than carnations. They 
have such lots of seed, and it is so easy to get. I 
asked John to let me have some of the heads. He 
could not possibly want them all, for each head has 
enough in it to sow two or three yards of a border. 


He said I might have what seeds I liked, if I used 


scissors, and did not drag things out of the ground 
by pulling. But I was not to let the young gentlemen 
go seed gathering. " Boys be so destructive," John 

After a time, however, I persuaded him to let 
Harry transplant seedlings of the things that sow 
themselves and come up in the autumn, if they came 
up a certain distance from the parent plants. Harry 
got a lot of things for our Paradise in this way ; in- 
deed he would not have got much otherwise, except 
wild flowers ; and, as he said, " How can I be your 
Honest Root-gatherer if I mayn't gather anything up 
by the roots ? " 

I can't help laughing sometimes to think of the 
morning when he left off being our Honest Root- 
gatherer. He did look so funny, and so like Chris. 

A day or two before, the Scotch Gardener had 
brought Saxon to see us, and a new kind of mouldi- 
ness that had got into his grape vines to show to John. 

He was very cross with Saxon for walking on my 
garden. (And I am sure I quite forgave him, for J 
am so fond of him, and he knew no better, poor 
dear !) But though he kicked Saxon, the Scotch 
Gardener was kind to us. He told us that the reason 
our gardens do not do so well as the big garden, and 
that my yules Margottin has not such big roses as 
John's yules Margottin is because we have never re- 
newed the soil. 


Arthur and Harry got very much excited about 
this. They made the Scotch Gardener tell them what 
good soil ought to be made of, and all the rest of the 
day they talked of nothing but compost. Indeed Ar- 
thur would come into my room and talk about com- 
post after I had gone to bed. 

Father's farming man was always much more good- 
natured to us than John ever was. He would give 
us anything we wanted. Warm milk when the cows 
were milked, or sweet-pea sticks, or bran to stuff the 
dolls' pillows. I've known him take his hedging bill, 
in his dinner hour, and cut fuel for our beacon-fire, 
when we were playing at a French Invasion. Noth- 
ing could be kinder. 

Perhaps we do not tease him so much as we tease 
John. But when I say that, Arthur says, " Now, 
Mary, that's just how you explain away things. The 
real difference between John and Michael is, that 
Michael is good-natured and John is not. Catch 
John showing me the duck's nest by the pond, or let- 
ting you into the cow-house to kiss the new calf be- 
tween the eyes if he were farm man instead of gar- 

And the night Arthur sat in my room, talking 
about compost, he said, " I shall get some good stuff 
out of Michael, I know ; and Harry and I see our 
way to road scrapings if we can't get sand ; and we 

mean to take precious good care John doesn't have 



all the old leaves to himself. It's the top spit that 
puzzles us, and loam is the most important thing of 

" What is top spit ? " I asked. 

"It's the earth you get when you dig up squares 
of grass out of a field like the paddock. The new 
earth that's just underneath. I expect John got a lot 
when he turfed that new piece by the pond, but I 
don't believe he'd spare us a flower-pot full to save 
his life." 

"Don't quarrel with John, Arthur. It's no good." 

"I won't quarrel with him if he behaves himself," 
said Arthur, "but we mean to have some top spit, 

"If you aggravate him he'll only complain of us to 

" I know," said Arthur hotly, " and beastly mean 
of him, too, when he knows what Father is about 
this sort of thing." 

" I know it's mean. But what's the good of fight- 
ing when you'll only get the worst of it ? ' 

" Why to show that you're in the right, and that 
you know you are," said Arthur. " Good night, Mary. 
We'll have a compost heap of our own this autumn, 
mark my words." 

Next day, in spite of my remonstrances, Arthur 
and Harry came to open war with John, and loudly 


and long did they rehearse their grievances, when we 
were out of Father's hearing. 

" Have we ever swept our own walks, except that 
once, long ago, when the German women came round 
with threepenny brooms?' 1 asked Arthur, throwing 
out his right arm, as if he were making a speech. 
" And think of all the years John has been getting 
leaf mould for himself out of our copper beech leaves 
and now refuses us a barrow load of loam ! " 

The next morning but one Harry was late for 
breakfast, and then it seemed that he was not dress- 
ing ; he had gone out, very early, one of the servants 
said. It frightened me, and I went out to look for 

When I came upon him in our gardens, it was he 
who was frightened. 

" Oh. dear," he exclaimed, " I thought you were 

I have often seen Harry dirty very dirty, but 
from the mud on his boots to the marks on his face 
where he had pushed the hair out of his eyes with 
earthy fingers, I never saw him quite so grubby be- 
fore. And if there had been a clean place left in any 
part of his clothes well away from the ground, that 
spot must have been soiled by a huge and very dirty 
sack, under the weight of which his poor little shoul- 
ders were bent nearly to his knees. 

" What are you doing, Honest Root-gatherer ? " I 



asked ; " are you turning yourself into a hump-backed 
dwarf ? " 

" I'm not honest, and I'm not a root-gatherer just 
now," said Harry, when he had got breath after set- 
ting down his load. He spoke shyly and a little sur- 
lily like Chris when he is in mischief. 

" Harry, what's that ? " 

"It's a sack I borrowed from Michael. It won't 
hurt it, it's had mangel-wurzels in already." 

" What have you got in it now ? It looks dread- 
fully heavy." 

"It is heavy, I can tell you," said Harry, with one 
more rub of his dirty fingers over his face. 

"You look half dead. What is it?" 

"It's top spit;" and Harry began to discharge his 
load on to the walk. 

" Oh, Harry, where did you get it ? " 

" Out of the paddock. I've been digging up turfs 
and getting this out, and putting the turfs back, and 
stamping them down not to show, ever since six 
o'clock. It was hard work ; and I was so afraid of 
John coming. Mary, you won't tell tales?' 1 

" No, Harry. But I don't think you ought to have 
taken it without Mother's leave." 

" I don't think you can call it stealing," said Harry. 
" Fields are a kind of wild places anyhow, and the 
paddock belongs to Father, and it certainly doesn't 
belong to John." 


"No," said I, doubtfully. 

" I won't get any more ; it's dreadfully hard work," 
said Harry, but as he shook the sack out and folded 
it up, he added (in rather a satisfied tone), "I've got 
a good deal." 

I helped him to wash himself for breakfast, and 
half way through he suddenly smiled and said, "John 
Parkinson will be glad when he sees you-know-what, 
Mary, whatever the other John thinks of it." 

But Harry did not cut any more turfs without leave, 
for he told me that he had a horrid dream that night 
of waking up in prison with a warder looking at him 
through a hole in the door of his cell, and finding out 
that he was in penal servitude for stealing top spit 
from the bottom of the paddock, and Father would 
not take him out of prison, and that Mother did not 
know about it. 

However, he and Arthur made a lot of compost. 
They said we couldn't possibly have a Paradise with- 
out it. 

It made them very impatient. We always want the 
spring and summer and autumn and winter to get 
along faster than they do. But this year Arthur and 
Harry were very impatient with summer. 

They were nearly caught one day by Father coming 
home just as they had got through the gates with 
Michael's old sack full of road-scrapings, instead of 
sand (we have not any sand growing near us, and 


silver sand is rather dear), but we did get leaves to- 
gether and stacked them to rot into leaf mould. 

Leaf mould is splendid stuff, but it takes a long 
time for the leaves to get mouldy, and it takes a great 
many, too. Arthur is rather impatient, and he used 
to say " I never saw leaves stick on to branches in 
such a way. I mean to get into some of these old 
trees and give them a good shaking to remind them 
what time of year it is. If I don't we shan't have 
anything like enough leaves for our compost." 


MOTHER was very much surprised by Arthur's letter, 
but not so much puzzled as he expected. She knew 
Parkinson's Paradisus quite well, and only wrote to 
me to ask ; " What are the boys after with the old 
books ? Does your Father know ? " 

But when I told her that he had given us leave to 
be in the library, and that we took great care of the 
books, and how much we enjoyed the ones about gar- 
dening, and all that we were going to do, she was 
very kind indeed, and promised to put on a blue 
dress and lace ruffles and be Queen of our Earthly 
Paradise as soon as she came home. 

When she did come home she was much better, 


and so was Chris. He was delighted to be our Dwarf, 
but he wanted to have a hump, and he would have 
such a big one that it would not keep in its place, and 
kept slipping under his arm and into all sorts of queer 

Not one of us enjoyed our new game more than 
Chris did, and he was always teasing me to tell him 
the story I had told the others, and to read out the 
names of the flowers which " the real Queen " had in 
her " real paradise." He made Mother promise to 
try to get him a bulb of the real Dwart Daffodil as 
his next birthday present, to put in his own garden. 

"And I'll give you some compost," said Arthur. 
" It'll be ever so much better than a stupid book with 
'stuff' in it." 

Chris did seem much stronger. He had color in 
his cheeks, and his head did not look so large. But 
he seemed to puzzle over things in it as much as ever, 
and he was just as odd and quaint. 

One warm day I had taken the " Tour round my 
Garden," and was sitting near the bush in the little 
wood behind our house, when Chris came after me 
with a Japanese fan in his hand, and sat down cross- 
legged at my feet. As I was reading, and Mother 
has taught us not to interrupt people when they are 
reading, he said nothing, but there he sat. 

"What is it Chris?" said I. 

" I am discontented," said Chris. 


" I'm very sorry," said I. 

"I don't think I'm selfish, particularly, but I'm 

" What about ? " 

"Oh, Mary, I do wish I had not been away when 
you invented Paradise, then I should have had a 
name in the game." 

"You've got a name, Chris. You're the Dwarf." 

" Ah, but what was the Dwarf's name ? ' J 

" I don't know," I admitted. 

" No ; that's just it. I've only one name, and Ar- 
thur and Harry have two. Arthur is a Pothecary " 
(Chris could never be induced to accept Apothecary 
as one word), " and he's John Parkinson as well. 
Harry is Honest Root-gatherer, and he is Francis le 
Vean. If I'd not been away I should have had two 


"You can easily have two names," said I. " We'll 
call the Dwarf Thomas Brown." 

Chris shook his big head. 

" No, no. That wasn't his name ; I know it wasn't. 
It's only stuff. I want another name out of the old 

I dared not tell him that the dwarf was not in the 
old book. I said : 

" My dear Chris, you really are discontented ; we 
can't all have double names. Adela has only one 
name, she is Weeding Woman and nothing else ; and 


I have only one name, I'm Traveller's Joy, and that's 

" But you and Adela are girls," said Chris com- 
placently. " The boys have two names." 

I suppressed some resentment, for Christopher's 
eyes were beginning to look weary, and said : 

" Shall I read to you for a bit ? " 

<; No, don't read. Tell me things out of the old 
book. Tell me about the Queen's flowers. Don't 
tell me about daffodils, they make me think what a 
long way off my birthday is, and I'm quite discon- 
tented enough." 

And Chris sighed, and lay down on the grass, with 
one arm under his head, and his fan in his hand ; 
and, as well as I could remember, I told him all 
?bout the different varieties of Cowslips, down to the 
Franticke, or Foolish Cowslip, and he became quite 

Dear Father is rather short sighted, but he can 
hold a round glass in his eye without cutting himself. 
It was the other eye which was next to Chris at prayers 
the following morning; but he saw his legs, and the 
servants had hardly got out of the hall before he 
shouted " Pull up your stockings, Chris ! " and then 
to Mother, " Why do you keep that sloven of a girl 
Bessy, if she can't dress the children decently? But 
I can't conceive what made you put that child into 
knickerbockers, he can't keep his stockings up." 


"Yes I can," said Christopher, calmly, looking at 
his legs. 

" Then what have you got 'em down for ? " shouted 

" They're not all down," said Chris, his head still 
bent over his knees, till I began to fear he would 
have a lit. 

" One of 'em is, anyhow. I saw it at prayers. Pull 
it up." 

" Two of them are," said Christopher, never lifting 
his admiring gaze from his stockings. "Two of them 
are down, and two of them are up, quite up, quite tidy." 

Dear Father rubbed his glass and put it back into 
his eye. 

" Why, how many stockings have you got on ? " 

" Four," said Chris, smiling serenely at his legs ; 
"and it isn't Bessy's fault. I put 'em all on myself, 
everyone of them." 

At this minute James brought in the papers, and 
Father only laughed, and said, " I never saw such a 
chap," and began to read. He is very fond of Chris- 
topher, and Chris is never afraid of him. 

I was going out of the room, and Chris followed 
me into the hall, and drew my attention to his legs, 
which were clothed in four stockings ; one pair, as he 
said, being drawn tidily up over his knees, the other 
pair turned down with some neatness in folds a little 
above his ankles. 


"Mary," he said, "I'm contented now." 

" I'm very glad, Chris. But do leave off staring at 
your legs. All the blood will run into your head." 

"I wish things wouldn't always get into my head, 
and nobody else's," said Chris, peevishly, as he raised 
it ; but when he looked back at his stockings, they 
seemed to comfort him again. 

" Mary, I've found another name for myself." 

"Dear Chris! I'm so glad." 

" It's a real one, out of the old book. I thought 
of it entirely by myself." 

" Good Dwarf. What is your name ? " 

"Hose-in-Hose" said Christopher, still smiling down 
upon his legs. 


ALAS for the hose-in-hose ! 

I laughed over Christopher and his double stock- 
ings, and I danced for joy when Bessy's Aunt told me 
that she had got me a fine lot of roots of double cow- 
slips. I never guessed what misery I was about to 
suffer, because of the hose-in-hose. 

I had almost forgotten that Bessy's Aunt knew 
double cowslips. After I became Traveller's Joy I 


was so busy with wayside planting that I had thought 
less of my own garden than usual, and had allowed 
Arthur to do what he liked with it as part of the 
Earthly Paradise (and he was always changing his 
plans), but Bessy's Aunt had not forgotten about it, 
which was very good of her. 

The Squire's Weeding Woman is old enough to be 
Bessy's Aunt, but she has an aunt of her own, who 
lives seven miles on the other side of the Moor, and 
the Weeding Woman does not get to see her very 
often. It is a very out-of-the-way village, and she has 
to wait for chances of a cart and team coming and 
going from one of the farms, and so get a lift. 

It was the Weeding Woman's Aunt who sent me 
the hose-in-hose. 

The Weeding Woman told me "Aunt be mortal 
fond of her flowers, but she've no notions of garden- 
ing, not in the ways of a gentleman's garden. But 
she be after 'em all along, so well as the roomatiz in 
her back do let her, with an old shovel and a bit of 
stuff to keep the frost out, one time, and the old 
shovel and a bit of stuff to keep 'em moistened from 
the drought, another time ; cuddling of 'em like Chris- 
tians. Ee zee, Miss, Aunt be advanced in years ; 
her family be off her mind, zum married, zum buried ; 
and it zim as if her flowers be like new childern for 
her, spoilt childern, too, as I zay, and most fuss about 
they that be least worth it, zickly uns and contrairy 


uns, as parents will. Many's time I do say to she- 
*Th' old Zquire's garden, now, 'twould zim strange to 
thee, sartinly 'twould ! How would 'ee feel to see 
Gardener zowing's spring plants by the hunclerd, and 
a-throwing of 'em away by the score when beds be 
vull, and turning of un out for bedding plants, and 
throwing they away when he've made his cuttings?' 1 
And she 'low she couldn't abear it, no more'n see 
Herod a mass-sakering of the Innocents. But if 'ee 
come to Bible, I do say Aunt put me in mind of the 
parble of the talents, she do, for what you give her 
she make ten of, while other folks be losing what 
they got. And 'tis well too, for if 'twas not for givin' 
of un away, seeing's she lose nothin', and can't abear 
to destry nothin', and never takes un up but to set 
un again, six in place of one, as I say, with such a 
mossel of a garden, ' Aunt, where would you be ? ' 
And she 'low she can't tell, but the Lard would pro- 
vide. 'Thank He,' I says, 'You be so out o' way, 
and 'ee back so bad, and past travelling, zo there be 
no chance of 'ee ever seein' Old Zquire's Gardener's 
houses and they stove plants;' for if Gardener give 
un a pot, sure's death her'd set it in the chimbly nook 
on frosty nights, and put bed-quilt over un, and any 
cold corner would do for she." 

At this point the Weeding Woman became short 
of breath, and I managed to protest against taking 
so many plants of the hose-in-hose. 


"Take un and welcome, my dear, take un and wel- 
come," replied Bessy's Aunt. " I did say to Aunt to 
keep two or dree, but ' One be aal I want,' her says, 
' I'll have so many agin in a few years, dividin' of un 
in autumn,' her says. ' Thee've one foot in grave 
Aunt,' says I, 'it don't altogether become 'ee to fore- 
cast autumns,' I says, ' when next may be your latter 
end, 's like as not.' ' Niece,' her says, ' I be no ways 
presuming. His will be done,' her says, ' but if I'm 
spared I'll rear un, an if I'm took, 'twill be where I 
sha'n't want un. Zo let young lady have un,' her 
says. And there a be ! " 

When I first saw the nice little plants, I did think 
of my own garden, but not for long. My next and 
final thought was " Mary's Meadow ! >; 

Since I became Traveller's Joy, I had chiefly been 
busy in the hedge-rows by the high-roads, and in waste 
places, like the old quarry, and very bare and tram- 
pled bits, where there seemed to be no flowers at all. 

You cannot say that of Mary's Meadow. Not to 
be a garden, it is one of the most flowery places I 
know. I did once begin a list of all that grows in it, 
but it was in one of Arthur's old exercise books, which 
he had " thrown in," in a bargain we had, and there 
were very few blank pages left. I had thought a 
couple of pages would be more than enough, so I 
began with rather full accounts of the flowers, but I 


used up the book long before I had written out one 
half of what blossoms in Mary's Meadow. 

Wild roses, and white bramble, and hawthorn, and 
dogwood, with its curious red flowers ; and nuts, and 
maple, and privet, and all sorts of bushes in the 
hedge, far more than one would think ; and ferns, 
and the stinking iris, which has such splendid berries, 
in the ditch the ditch on the lower side where it is 
damp, and where I meant to sow forget-me-nots, like 
Alphonse Karr, for there are none there as it happens. 
On the other side, at the top of the field, it is dry, and 
blue succory grows, and grows out on the road beyond. 
The most beautiful blue possible, but so hard to pick. 
And there are Lent lilies, and lords and ladies, and 
ground ivy, which smells herby when you find it, 
trailing about and turning the color of Mother's "au- 
rora " wool in green winters ; and sweet white violets, 
and blue dog violets, and primroses, of course, and 
two or three kinds of orchis, and all over the field 
cowslips, cowslips, cowslips to please the nightin- 

And I wondered if the nightingale would find out 
the hose-in-hose, when I had planted six of them in 
the sunniest, cosiest corner of Mary's Meadow. 

For this was what I resolved to do, though I kept 
my resolve to myself, for which I was afterwards very 
glad. I did not tell the others because 1 thought 
that Arthur might want some of the plants for our 


Earthly Paradise, and I wanted to put them all in 
Mary's Meadow. I said to myself, like Bessy's great- 
aunt, that "if I was spared' 1 I would go next year 
and divide the roots of the six, and bring some off- 
sets to our gardens, but I would keep none back now. 
The nightingale should have them all. 

We had been busy in our gardens, and in the roads 
and bye-lanes, and I had not been in Mary's Meadow 
for a long time before the afternoon when I put my 
little trowel, and a bottle of water, and the six hose- 
in-hose into a basket, and was glad to get off quietly 
and alone to plant them. The highways and hedges 
were very dusty, but there it was very green. The 
nightingale had long been silent, I do not know where 
he was, but the rooks were not at all silent ; they had 
been holding a parliament at the upper end of the 
field this morning, and were now all talking at once, 
and flapping about the tops of the big elms which 
were turning bright yellow, whilst down below a flight 
of starlings had taken their place, and sat in the 
prettiest circles ; and groups of hedge-sparrows flew 
and mimicked them. And in the fields round about 
the sheep baaed, and the air, which was very sweet, 
was so quiet that these country noises were the only 
sounds to be heard, and they could be heard from 
very far away. 

I had found the exact spot I wanted, and had 
planted four of the hose-in-hose, and watered them 


from the bottle, and had the fifth in my hand, and 
the sixth still in the basket, when all these nice noises 
were drowned by a loud harsh shout which made me 
start, and sent the flight of starlings into the next 
field, and made the hedge-sparrows jump into the 

And when I looked up I saw the Old Squire com- 
ing towards me, and storming and shaking his fist at 
me as he came. But with the other hand he held 
Saxon by the collar, who was struggling to get away 
from him and to go to me. 

I had so entirely forgotten about Father's quarrel 
with the Squire, that when the sight of the old gen- 
tleman in a rage suddenly reminded me, I was greatly 
stupefied and confused, and really did not at first 
hear what he said. But when I understood that he 
was accusing me of digging cowslips out of his field, 
I said at once (and pretty loud, for he was deaf) that 
I was not digging up anything, but was planting dou- 
ble cowslips to grow up and spread amongst the 
common ones. 

I suppose it did sound rather unlikely, as the Old 
Squire knew nothing about our game, but a thing be- 
ing unlikely, is no reason for calling truthful people 
liars, and that was what the Old Squire called me. 

It choked me, and when he said I was shameless, 
and that he had caught me with the plants upon me, 
and yelled to me to empty my basket, I threw away 



the fifth and sixth hose-in-hose as if they had been 
adders, but I could not speak again. He must have 
been beside himself with rage, for he called me all 
sorts of names, and said I was my father's own child, 
a liar and a thief. Whilst he was talking about send- 
ing me to prison (and I thought of Harry's dream, 
and turned cold with fear), Saxon was tugging to get 
to me, a.nd at last he got away and came rushing up. 

Now I knew that the Old Squire was holding Sax- 
on back because he thought Saxon wanted to worry 
me as a trespasser, but I don't know whether he let 
Saxon go at last, because he thought I deserved to be 
worried, or whether Saxon got away of himself. When 
his paws were almost on me the Old Squire left off 
abusing me, and yelled to the dog, who at last, very 
unwillingly, went back to him, but when he just got 
to the Squire's feet he stopped, and pawed the ground 
in the funny way he sometimes does, and looked up 
at his master as much as to say, " You see it's only 
play," and then turned round and raced back to me 
as hard as he could lay legs to ground. This time 
he reached me, and jumped to lick my face, and I 
threw my arms round his neck and burst into tears. 

When you are crying and kissing at the same time, 
you cannot hear anything else, so what more the Old 
Squire said I do not know. 

I picked up my basket and trowel at once, and fled 
homewards as fast as I could go, which was not very 


"I threw my arms round his neck arid burst into tears." 

Page 66. 


fast, so breathless was I with tears and shame and 

When I was safe in our grounds I paused and 
looked back. The Old Squire was still there, shout- 
ing and gesticulating, and Saxon was at his heels, 
and over the hedge two cows were looking at him ; 
but the rooks and the starlings were far off in distant 
trees and fields. 

And I sobbed afresh when I remembered that I had 
been called a liar and a thief, and had lost every one 
of my hose-in-hose ; and this was all that had come 
of trying to make an Earthly Paradise of Mary's 
Meadow, and of taking upon myself the name of 
Traveller's Joy. 


I TOLD no one. It was bad enough to think of by 
myself. I could not have talked about it. But every 
day I expected that the Old Squire would send a let- 
ter or a policeman, or come himself, and rage and 
storm, and tell Father. 

He never did ; and no one seemed to suspect that 
anything had gone wrong, except that Mother fid- 
getted because I looked ill, and would show me to 


Dr. Solomon. It is a good thing doctors tell you 
what they think is the matter, and don't ask you what 
you think, for I could not have told him about the 
Squire. He said I was below par, and that it was 
our abominable English climate, and he sent me a 
bottle of tonic. And when I had taken half the bot- 
tle, and had begun to leave off watching for the police- 
man, I looked quite well again. So I took the rest, 
not to waste it, and thought myself very lucky. My 
only fear now was that Bessy's aunt might ask after 
the hose-in-hose. But she never did. 

I had one more fright, where I least expected it. 
It had never occurred to me that Lady Catherine 
would take an interest in our game, and want to know 
what we had done, and what we were doing, and 
what we were going to do, or I should have been far 
more afraid of her than of Bessy's aunt. For the 
Weeding Woman has a good deal of delicacy, and 
often begs pardon for taking liberties ; but if Aunt 
Catherine takes an interest, and wants to know, she 
asks one question after another, and does not think 
whether you like to answer or not. 

She took an interest in our game after one of Chris- 
topher's luncheons with her. 

She often asks Chris to go there to luncheon, all 
by himself. Father is not very fond of his going, 
chiefly, I fancy, because he is so fond of Chris, and 
misses him. Sometimes, in the middle of luncheon, 


he looks at Christopher's empty place, and says, " I 
wonder what those two are talking about over their 
pudding. They are the queerest pair of friends." If 
we ask Chris what they have talked about, he wags 
his head, and looks very well pleased with himself, 
and says, u Lots of things. I tell her things, and she 
tells me things." And that is all we can get out of 

A few weeks afterwards, after I lost the hose-in- 
hose, Chris went to have luncheon with Aunt Cathe- 
rine, and he came back rather later than usual. 

" You must have been telling each other a good 
deal to-day, Chris," I said. 

" I told her lots," said Chris, complacently. " She 
didn't tell me nothing, hardly. But I told her lots. 
My apple fritter got cold whilst I was telling it. She 
sent it away, and had two hot ones, new, on purpose 
for me." 

" What did you tell her!" 

" I told her your story ; she liked it very much. 
And I told her Daffodils, and about my birthday ; 
and I told her Cowslips all of them. Oh, I told 
her lots. She didn't tell me nothing." 

A few days later, Aunt Catherine asked us to tea 
all of us me, Arthur, Adela, Harry, and Chris. 
And she asked us all about our game. When Harry 
said, " I dig up, but Mary plants not in our garden, 
but in wild places, and woods, and hedges, and fields," 


Lady Catherine blew her nose very loud, and said, " I 
should think you don't do much digging and planting 
in that field your Father went to law about ? ' : and 
my teeth chattered so with fright that I think Lady 
Catherine would have heard them if she hadn't been 
blowing her nose. But, luckily for me, Arthur said, 
" Oh, we never go near Mary's Meadow, now, we're 
so busy." And then Aunt Catherine asked what made 
us think of my name, and I repeated most of the bit 
from Alphonse Karr, for I knew it by heart now; 
and Arthur repeated what John Parkinson says about 
the " Honisuckle that groweth wild in every hedge," 
and how he left it there, " to serve their senses that 
travel by it, or have no garden ;" and then he said, 
" So Mary is called Traveller's Joy, because she 
plants flowers in the hedges, to serve their senses 
that travel by them." 

"And who serves them that have' no garden?" 
asked Aunt Catherine, sticking her gold glasses over 
her nose, and looking at us. 

" None of us do," said Arthur, after thinking for a 

" Humph ! "' said Aunt Catherine. 

Next time Chris was asked to luncheon, I was asked 
too. Father laughed at me, and teased me, but I 

I was very much amused by the airs which Chris 
gave himself at table. He was perfectly well behaved, 


but, in his quiet, old-fashioned way, he certainly gave 
himself airs. We have only one man indoors James : 
but Aunt Catherine has three a butler, a footman, 
and a second footman. The second footman kept 
near Christopher, who sat opposite Aunt Catherine, 
(she made me sit on one side), and seemed to watch 
to attend upon him ; but if Christopher did want any- 
thing, he always ignored this man, and asked the 
butler for it, and called him by his name. 

After a bit, Aunt Catherine began to talk about the 
game again. 

" Have you got anyone to serve them that have no 
garden, yet ? "' she asked. 

Christopher shook his head, and said " No." 

" Humph," said Aunt Catherine; "better take me 
into the game." 

"Could you be of anyuse?' : asked Christopher. 
" Toast and water, Chambers." 

The butler nodded, as majestically as Chris him- 
self, to the second footman, who flew to replenish the 
silver mug, which had been Lady Catherine's when 
she was a little girl. When Christopher had drained 
it (he is a very thirsty boy), he repeated the question. 

" Do you think you could be of any use ? " 

Mr. Chambers, the butler, never seems to hear any- 
thing that people say, except when they ask for some- 
thing to eat or drink ; and he does not often hear 
that, because he watches to see what you want, and 


pives it of himself, or sends it bv the footman. He 

~-j ' * 

looks just as if he was having his photograph taken, 
staring at a point on the wall and thinking of nothing ; 
but when Christopher repeated his question I saw 
Chambers frown. I believe he thinks Christopher 
presumes on Lady Catherine's kindness, and does 
not approve of it. 

It is quite the other way with Aunt Catherine. 
Just when you would think she must turn angry, and 
scold Chris for being rude, she only begins to laugh, 
and shakes like a jelly (she is very stout) and encour- 
ages him. She said, 

" Take care all that toast and water doesn't get 
into your head, Chris." 

She said that to vex him, because, ever since he 
heard that he had water on the brain, Chris is very 
easily affronted about his head. He was affronted 
now, and began to eat his bread-and-butter pudding 
in silence, Lady Catherine still shaking and laughing. 
Then she wiped her eyes, and said, 

"Never mind, old man, I'm going to tell you some- 
thing. Put the sugar and cream on the table, Cham- 
bers, and you needn't wait." 

The men went out quietly, and Aunt Catherine 
went on : 

"Where do you think I was yesterday? In the 
new barracks a place I set my face against ever 
since they began to build it, and spoil one of my best 


peeps from the Rhododendron Walk. I went to see 
a young cousin of mine, who was fool enough to 
marry a poor officer, and have a lot of little boys and 
girls, no handsomer than you, Chris." 

"Are they as handsome?" said Chris, who had 
recovered himself, and was selecting currants from 
his pudding, and laying them aside for a final bonne 

" Humph ! Perhaps not. But they eat so much 
pudding, and wear out so many boots, that they are 
all too poor to live anywhere except in barracks. '"' 

Christopher laid down his spoon, and looked as he 
always looks when he is hearing a sad story. 

" Is barracks like the workhouse, Aunt Catherine ? " 
he asked. 

"A good deal like the workhouse," said Aunt Cath- 
erine. Then she went on "I told her Mother I 
could not begin calling at the barracks. There are 
some very low streets close by, and my coachman 
said he couldn't answer for his horses with bugles, 
and perhaps guns, going off when you least expect 
them. I told her I would ask them to dinner ; and 
I did, but they were engaged. Well, yesterday I 
changed my mind, and I told Harness that I meant 
to go to the barracks, and the horses would have to 
take me. So we started. When we were going along 
the upper road, between the high hedges, what do 
you think I saw ? " 


Chris had been going on with his pudding again, 
but he paused to make a guess. 

"A large cannon, just going off? " 

" No. If I'd seen that, you wouldn't have seen 
any more of me. I saw masses of wild clematis 
scrambling everywhere, so that the hedge looked as 
if somebody had been dressing it up in tufts of 

As she said this, Lady Catherine held out her hand 
to me across the table very kindly. She has a fat 
hand, covered with rings, and I put my hand into it. 

" And what do you think came into my head ? " 
she asked. 

"Toast and water," said Chris, maliciously. 

" No, you monkey. I began to think of hedge- 
flowers, and travellers, and Traveller's Joy." 

Aunt Catherine shook my hand here, and dropped it. 

"And you thought how nice it was for the poor 
travellers to have such nice flowers," said Chris, smil- 
ing, and wagging his head up and down. 

" Nothing of the kind," said Aunt Catherine, 
brusquely. " I thought what lots of flowers the trav- 
ellers had already, without Mary planting any more ; 
and I thought not one traveller in a dozen paid much 
attention to them begging John Parkinson's par- 
don and how much more in want of flowers people 
' that have no garden ' are ; and then I thought of 
that poor girl in those bare barracks, whose old home 


was one of the prettiest places, with the loveliest gar- 
den, in all Berkshire." 

" W r as it an Earthly Paradise ? " asked Chris. 

" It was, indeed. Well, when I thought of her in- 
side those brick walls, looking out on one of those 
yards they march about in, now they've cut down all 
the trees, and planted sentry boxes, I put my best 
bonnet out of the window, which always spoils the 
feather, and told Harness to turn his horses' heads, 
and drive home again." 

" What for ? ' said Chris, as brusquely as Lady 

" I sent for Hobbs." 

" Hobbs the Gardener? " said Chris. 

"Hobbs the Gardener; and I told Chambers to 
give him the basket from the second peg, and then 
I sent him into the conservatory to fill it. Mary, my 
dear, I am very particular about my baskets. If ever 
I lend you my diamonds, and you lose them, I may 
forgive you I shall know that was an accident ; but 
if I lend you a basket, and you don't return it, don't 
look me in the face again. 1 always write my name 
on them, so there's no excuse. And I don't know a 
greater piece of impudence and people are won- 
derfully impudent now-a-days than to think that be- 
cause a thing only cost fourpence, you need not be 
at the trouble of keeping it clean and dry, and of 
sending it back." 


" Some more toast and water please," said Chris. 

Aunt Catherine helped him, and continued 
" Hobbs is a careful man he has been with me ten 
years he doesn't cut flowers recklessly as a rule, but 
when I saw that basket I said, ' Hobbs, you've been 
very extravagant.' He looked ashamed of himself, 
but he said, ' I understood they was for Miss Kitty, 
m'm. She's been used to nice gardens, m'm.' Hobbs 
lived with them in Berkshire before he came to me." 

" It was very nice of Hobbs," said Chris, emphati- 

"Humph!" said Aunt Catherine, "the flowers 

were mine.' 

" Did you ever get to the barracks ? "' asked Chris, 
" and what was they like when you did ? ' 

" They were about as unlike Kitty's old home as 
anything could well be. She has made her rooms 
pretty enough, but it was easy to see she is hard up for 
flowers. She's got an old rose-colored Sevres bowl 
that was my Grandmother's, and there it was, filled 
with bramble leaves and Traveller's Joy, (which she 
calls Old Man's Beard ; Kitty always would differ 
from her elders !) and a soup-plate full of forget-me- 
nots. She said two of the children had half-drowned 
themselves, and lost a good straw hat in getting 
them for her. Just like their mother, as I told her." 

" What did she say when you brought out the bas- 


ket?'" asked Chris, disposing of his reserve of cur- 
rants at one mouthful, and laying down his spoon. 

" She said, ' Oh ! oh ! oh ! ' till I told her to say 
something more amusing, and then she said, ' I could 
cry for joy!' and, 'Tell Hobbs he remembers all 
my favorites.' : 

Christopher here bent his head over his empty 
plate, and said grace (Chris is very particular about 
his grace), and then got down from his chair and 
went up to Lady Catherine, and threw his arms round 
her as far as they would go, saying, " You are good. 
And I love you. I should think she thinked you 
was a fairy godmother." 

After they had hugged each other, Aunt Catherine 
said, "Will you take me into the game, if I serve 
them that have no garden ? ' : 

Chris and I said " Yes ' with one voice. 

"Then come into the drawing-room," said Aunt 
Catherine, getting up and giving a hand to each of 
us. " And Chris shall give me a name." 

Chris pondered a long time on this subject, and 
seemed a good deal disturbed in his mind. Presently 
he said, " I won't be selfish. You shall have it." 

" Shall have what, you oddity ? ' 

" I'm not an oddity, and I'm going to give you the 
name I invented for myself. But you'll have to wear 
four stockings, two up and two down." 

"Then you may keep that name to yourself," said 
Aunt Catherine. 


Christopher looked relieved. 

"Perhaps you'd not like to be called Old Man's 
Beard ? " 

"Certainly not!" said Aunt Catherine. 

" It is more of a boy's name," said Chris. "You 
might be the Franticke or Foolish Cowslip, but it is 
Jack an Apes on Horseback too, and that's a boy's 
name. You shall be a Daffodil, not a dwarf daffodil, 
but a big one, because you are big. Wait a minute 
I know which you shall be. You shall be Non- 
such. It's a very big one, and it means none like it. 
So you shall be Nonsuch, for there's no one like you." 

On which Christopher and Lady Catherine hugged 
each other afresh. 


" Who told most to-day ? " asked Father when we 
got hor/ie. 

O'j, Aunt Catherine. Much most," said Chris- 



THE height of our game was in Autumn. It is 
such a good time for digging up, and planting, and 
dividing, and making cuttings, and gathering seeds, 
and sowing them too. But it went by very quickly, 


and when the leaves began to fall they fell very quick- 
ly, and Arthur never had to go up the trees and shake 

After the first hard frost we quite gave up playing 
at the Earthly Paradise ; first, because there was noth- 
ing we could do, and, secondly, because a lot of snow 
fell, and Arthur had a grand idea of making snow 
statues all along the terrace, so that Mother could 
see them from the drawing-room windows. We worked 
very hard, and it was very difficult to manage legs 
without breaking ; so we made most of them Romans 
in togas, and they looked very well from a distance, 
and lasted a long time, because the frost lasted. 

And, by degrees, I almost forgot that terrible after- 
noon in Mary's Meadow. Only when Saxon came 
to see us I told him that I was very glad that no one 
understood his bark, so that he could not let out what 
had become of the hose-in-hose. 

But when the winter was past, and the snowdrops 
came out in the shrubbery, and there were catkins on 
the nut trees, and the missel thrush we had been feed- 
ing in the frost sat out on mild days and sang to us, 
we all of us began to think of our gardens again, and 
to go poking about " with our noses in the borders," 
as Arthur said, "as if we were dogs snuffing after 
truffles." What we really were <: snuffing after " were 
the plants we had planted in autumn, and which were 
poking and sprouting, and coming up in all directions. 


Arthur and Harry did real gardening in the Easter 
holidays, and they captured Adela now and then, and 
made her weed. But Christopher's delight was to go 
with me to the waste places and hedges, where I had 
planted things as Traveller's Joy, and to get me to 
show them to him where they had begun to make a 
spring start, and to help him to make up rambling 
stories, which he called " Supposings," of what the 
flowers would be like, and what this or that traveller 
would say when he saw them. One of his favorite 
supposings was " Supposing a very poor man was 
coming along the road, with his dinner in a handker- 
chief; and supposing he sat down under the hedge to 
eat it ; and supposing it was cold beef, and he had no 
mustard ; and supposing there was a seed on you! 
nasturtium plants, and he knew it wouldn't poison 
him ; and supposing he ate it with his beef, and it 
tasted nice and hot, like a pickle, wouldn't he wonder 
how it got theie ? ' 

But when the primroses had been out a long time, 
and the cowslips were coming into bloom, to my hor- 
ror Christopher began " supposing' 1 that we should 
find hose-in-hose in some of the fields, and all my ef- 
forts to put this idea out of his head, and to divert 
him from the search, were utterly in vain. 

Whether it had anything to do with his having had 
water on the brain I do not know, but when once an 
idea got into Christopher's head there was no dis- 


lodging it. He now talked of hose-in-hose constantly. 
One day he announced that he was " discontented ' ; 
once more, and should remain so till he had "found 
a hose-in-hose." I enticed him to a field where 1 
knew it was possible to secure an occasional oxlip, 
but he only looked pale, shook his head distressingly, 
and said, "I don't think nothin' of Oxlips." Col 
ored primroses would not comfort him. He professed 
to disbelieve in the time-honored prescription, " Plant 
a primrose upside down, and it will come up a polyan- 
thus," and refused to help me to make the experiment. 
At last the worst came. He suddenly spoke, with 
smiles " I know where we'll find hose-in-hose ! In 
Mary's Meadow. It's the fullest field of cowslips 
there is. Hurrah ! Supposing we find hose-in-hose, 
and supposing we find green cowslips, and supposing 
we find curled cowslips or galligaskins, and sup- 
posing " 

But I could not bear it. I fairly ran away from 
him, and shut myself up in my room and cried. I 
knew it was silly, and yet I could not bear the thought 
of having to satisfy everybody's curiosity, and describe 
that scene in Mary's Meadow, which had wounded 
me so bitterly, and explain why I had not told of it 

I cried, too, for another reason. Mary's Meadow 
had been dear to us all, ever since I could remember. 
It was always our favorite field. We had coaxed our 


nurses there, when we could induce them to leave the 
high road, or when, luckily for us, on account of an 
epidemic, or for some reason or another, they were 
forbidden to go gossiping into the town. We had 
"pretended' 1 fairies in the nooks of the delightful- 
ly neglected hedges, and we had found fairy-rings 
to prove our pretendings true. We went there for 
flowers ; we went there for mushrooms and puff-balls ; 
we went there to hear the nightingale. What cow- 
slip balls, and what cowslip tea-parties it had afforded 
us. It is fair to the Old Squire to say that we were 
sad trespassers, before he and Father quarrelled and 
went to law. For Mary's Meadow was a field with 
every quality to recommend it to childish affections. 

And now I was banished from it, not only by the 
quarrel, of which we had really not heard much, or 
realised it as fully, but by my own bitter memories. 
I cried afresh to think I should never go again to the 
corner where I always found the earliest violets ; and 
then I cried to think that the nightingale would soon 
be back, and how that very morning, when I opened 
my window, I had heard the cuckoo, and could tell 
that he was calling from just about Mary's Meadow. 

I cried my eyes into such a state, that I was obliged 
to turn my attention to making them fit to be seen; 
and I had spent quite half an hour in bathing them 
and breathing on my handkerchief, and dabbing them, 
which is more soothing, when I heard Mother calling 


me. I winked hard, drew a few long breaths, rubbed 
my cheeks, which were so white they showed up my 
red eyes, and ran down-stairs. Mother was coming 
to meet me. She said " Where is Christopher ? " 

It startled me. I said, " He was with me in the 
garden, about oh, about an hour ago ; have you lost 
him ? I'll go and look for him." 

And I snatched up a garden hat, which shaded my 
swollen eyelids, and ran out. I could not find him 
anywhere, and becoming frightened, I ran down the 
drive, calling him as I went, and through the gate, 
and out into the road. 

A few yards farther on I met him. 

That child is most extraordinary. One minute he 
looks like a ghost ; an hour later his face is beaming 
with a radiance that seems absolutely to fatten him 
under your eyes. That was how he looked just then 
as he came towards me, smiling in an effulgent sort 
of way, as if he were the noonday sun no less, and 
carrying a small nosegay in his hand. 

When he came within hearing he boasted, as if he 
had been Caesar himself. 

" I went ; I found it. I've got them." 

And as he held his hand up, and waved the nose- 
gay I knew all. He had been to Mary's Meadow, 
and the flowers between his fingers were hose in-hose. 



" I WON'T be selfish, Mary," Christopher said. "You 
invented the game, and you told me about them. 
You shall have them in water on your dressing-table \ 
they might get lost in the nursery. Bessy is always 
throwing things out. To-morrow I shall go and look 
for galligaskins." 

I was too glad to keep them from Bessy's observa- 
tion, as well as her unparalled powers of destruction, 
which I knew well. I put them into a slim glass on 
my table, and looked stupidly at them, and then out 
of the window at Mary's Meadow. 

So they had lived and grown and settled there 
and were now in bloom. My plants. 

Next morning I was sitting, drawing, in the school- 
room window, when I saw the Old Squire coming up 
the drive. There is no mistaking him when you can 
see him at all. He is a big, handsome old man, with 
white whiskers, and a white hat, and white gaiters, 
and he generally wears a light coat, and a flower in 
his button-hole. The flower he wore this morning 

looked like , but I was angry with myself for 

thinking of it, and went on drawing again, as well as 
I could, for I could not help wondering why he was 


coming to our house. Then it struck me he might 
have seen Chris trespassing, and he might he coming 
at last to lay a formal complaint. 

Twenty minutes later James came to tell me that 
Father wished to see me in the library, and when I 
got there, Father was just settling his eye-glass in 
eye, and the Old Squire was standing on the hearth- 
rug, with a big piece of paper in his hand. And then 
I saw that I was right, and that the flowers in his 
button-hole were hose-in-hose. 

As I came in he laid down the paper, took the hose 
in-hose out of his button-hole in his left hand, and 
held out his right hand to me, saying : " I'm more ac- 
customed to public speaking than to private speak- 
ing, Miss Mary. But will you be friends with 


In Mary's Meadow my head had got all confused, 
because I was frightened. I was not frightened to- 
day, and I saw the whole matter in a moment. He 
had found the double cowslips, and he knew now that 
I was neither a liar nor a thief. I was glad, but I 
could not feel very friendly to him. I said, "You 
can speak when you are angry." 

Though he was behind me, I could feel Father 
coming nearer, and I knew somehow that he had 
taken out his glass again to rub it and put it back, 
as he does when he is rather surprised or amused. 
I was afraid he meant to laugh at me afterwards, and 


he can tease terribly, but I could not have helped 
saying what came into my head that morning if I had 
tried. When you have suffered a great deal about 
anything, you cannot sham, not even politeness. 

The Old Squire got rather red. Then he said, " I 
am afraid I am very hasty, my dear, and say very un- 
justifiable things. But I am very sorry, and I beg 
your pardon. Will you forgive me ? " 

I said, "Of course, if you're sorry, I forgive you, 
but you have been a very long time in repenting." 

Which was true. If I had been cross with one of 
the others, and had borne malice for five months, I 
should have thought myself very wicked. But when 
I had said it, I felt sorry, for the old gentleman made 
no answer. Father did not speak either, and I began 
to feel very miserable. I touched the flowers, and 
the Old Squire gave them to me in silence. I thanked 
him very much, and then I said 

" I am very glad you know about it now. . . . I'm 
very glad they lived. . . . I hope you like them? . . . 
I hope, if you do like them, that they'll grow and 
spread all over your field." 

The Old Squire spoke at last. He said, " It is not 
my field any longer." 

I said, " Oh, why ? " 

" I have given it away; I have been a long time in 
repenting, but when I did repent I punished myself, 
I have given it away." 


It overwhelmed me, and when he took up the big 
paper again, I thought he was going, and I tried to 
stop him, for I was sorry I had spoken unkindly to 
him, and I wanted to be friends. 

" Please don't go," I said. " Please stop and be 
friends. And oh, please, please don't give Mary's 
Meadow away. You mustn't punish yourself. There's 
nothing to punish yourself for. I forgive you with 
all my heart, and I'm sorry I spoke crossly. I have 
been so very miserable, and I was so vexed at wast- 
ing the hose-in-hose, because Bessie's great aunt gave 
them to me, and I've none left. Oh, the unkindest 
thing you could do to me now would be to give away 
Mary's Meadow." 

The Old Squire had taken both my hands in his, 
and now he asked very kindly " Why, my dear, why 
don't you want me to give away Mary's Meadow ? " 

" Because we are so fond of it. And because I 
was beginning to hope that now we're friends, and 
you know we don't want to steal your things, or to 
hurt your field, perhaps you would let us play in it 
sometimes, and perhaps have Saxon to play with us 
there. We are so very fond of him too." 

" You are fond of Mary's Meadow ? " said the Old 

" Yes, yes ! We have been fond of it all our lives. 
We don't think there is any field like it, and I don't 
believe there can be. Don't give k away. You'll 


never get one with such flowers in it again. And 
now there are hose-in-hose, and they are not at all 
common. Bessy's aunt's aunt has only got one left, 
and she's taking care of it with a shovel. And if 
you'll let us in we'll plant a lot of things, and do no 
harm, we will indeed. And the nightingale will be 
here directly. Oh, don't give it away ! " 

My head was whirling now with the difficulty of 
persuading him, and I did not hear what he said 
across me to my father. But I heard Father's reply 
" Tell her yourself, sir." 

On which the Old Squire stuffed the big paper into 
my arms, and put his hand on my head and patted it. 

" I told you I was a bad hand at talking, my dear," 
he said, " but Mary's Meadow is given away, and 
that's the Deed of Gift which you've got in your 
arms, drawn up as tight as any rascal 6f a lawyer can 
do it, and that's not so tight, I believe, but what some 
other rascal of a lawyer could undo it. However, 
they may let you alone. For I've given it to you, my 
dear, and it is yours. So you can plant, and play, 
and do what you please there. ' You, and your heirs 
and assigns, for ever,' as the rascals say." 

It was my turn now to be speechless. But as I 
stared blankly in front of me, I saw that Father had 
come round, and was looking at me through his eye- 
glass. He nodded to me, and said, "Yes, Mary, 


the Squire has given Mary's Meadow to you, and it 
is yours 


Nothing would induce the Old Squire to take it 
back, so I had to have it, for my very own. He said 
he had always been sorry he had spoken so roughly 
to me, but he could not say so. as he and Father 
were not on speaking terms. Just lately he was din- 
ing with Lady Catherine, to meet her cousins from 
the Barracks, and she was telling people after dinner 
about our game (rather mean of her, I think, to let 
out our secrets at a dinner party), and when he heard 
about my planting things in the hedges, he remem- 
bered what I had said. And next day he went to the 
place to look, and there were the hose-in-hose. 

Oh, how delighted the others were when they heard 
that Mary's Meadow belonged to me. 

" It's like having an Earthly Paradise given to you, 
straight off ! " said Harry. 

"And one that doesn't want weeding," said Adela. 

"And oh, Mary, Mary!" cried Arthur. "Think 
of the yards and yards of top-spit. It does rejoice 
me to think I can go to you now when I'm making 
compost, and need not be beholden to that old sell- 
up-your-grandfather John for as much as would fill 
Adela's weeding basket, and that's about as small an 
article as anyone can make-believe with." 

" It's very heavy when it's full," said Adela. 


" Is everything hers ? " asked Christopher. " Is 
the grass hers, and the trees hers, and the hedges 
hers, and the rooks hers, and the starling hers, and 
will the nightingale be hers when he comes home, and 
if she could dig through to the other side of the 
world, would there be a field the same size in Aus- 
tralia that would be hers, and are the sheep hers, 
and " 

" For mercy's sake stop that catalogue, Chris," 
said Father. " Of course the sheep are not hers ; 
they were moved yesterday. By-the-bye, Mary, I 
don't know what you propose to do with your prop- 
erty, but if you like to let it to me, I'll turn some 
sheep in to-morrow, and I'll pay you so much a year, 
which I advise you to put in the Post Office Savings' 

I couldn't fancy Mary's Meadow always without 
sheep, so I was too thankful ; though at first I could 
not see that it was fair that dear Father should let 
me have his sheep to look pretty in my field for 
nothing, and pay me, too. He is always teasing me 
about my field, and he teases me a good deal about 
the Squire, too. He says we have set up another 
queer friendship in the family, and that the Old 
Squire and I are as odd a pair as Aunt Catherine 
and Chris. 

I am very fond of the Old Squire now, and he is 


very kind to me. He wants to give me Sa.vm, but 
I will not accept him. It would be selfish. Lut the 
Old Squire says I had better take him, for we have 
quite spoilt him for a yard dog by petting him, till he 
has not a bit of savageness left in him. We do not 
believe Saxon ever was savage ; but I daren't say so 
to the Old Squire, for he does not like you to think 
you know better than he does about anything. There 
is one other subject on which he expects to be hu- 
mored, and I am careful not to offend him. He 
cannot tolerate the idea that he might be supposed 
to have yielded to Father the point about which they 
went to law, in giving Mary's Meadow to me. He 
is always lecturing me on encroachments, and the 
abuse of privileges, and warning me to be very strict 
about trespassers on the path through Mary's Mead- 
ow ; and now that the field is mine, nothing will 
induce him to walk in it without asking my leave. 
That is his protest against the decision from which 
he meant to appeal. 

Though I have not accepted Saxon, he spends 
most of his time with us. He likes to come for the 
night, because he sleeps on the floor of my room, 
instead of in a kennel, which must be horrid, I am 
sure. Yesterday, the Old Squire said, " One of 
these fine days, when Master Saxon does not come 
home till morning, he'll find a big mastiff in his ken- 


nel, and will have to seek a home for himself where 
he can." 

Chris has been rather whimsical lately. Father 
says Lady Catherine spoils him. One day he came 
to me looking very peevish, and said, " Mary, if a 
hedgehog should come and live in one of your 
hedges, Michael says he would be yours, he's sure. 
If Michael finds him, will you give him to me ? " 

" Yes, Chris ; but what do you want with a hedge 
hog ? 

" I want him to sleep by my bed," said Chris. 
" You have Saxon by your bed ; I want something 
by mine. I want a hedgehog. I feel discontented 
without a hedgehog. I think I might have some 
thing the matter with my brain if I didn't get a 
hedgehog pretty soon. Can I go with Michael and 
look for him this afternoon ? " and he put his hand 
to his forehead. 

" Chris, Chris ! " I said, " you should not be so 
sly. You're a real slyboots. Double-stockings and 
slyboots." And I took him on my lap. 

Chris put his arms round my neck, and buried his 
cheek against mine. 

" I won't be sly, Mary," he whispered ; and then, 
hugging me as he hugs Lady Catherine, he added, 
" For I do love you ; for you are a darling, and I do 
really think it always was yours." 

" What, Chris ? " 


"If not," said Chris, " why was it always called 

NOTE. If any readers of "Mary's Meadow" have been as 
completely puzzled as the writer was by the title of John Park- 
inson's old book, it may interest them to know that the ques- 
tion has been raised and answered in Notes and Queries. 

I first saw the Paradisi in sole Faradisus terrestris at Ke\\, 
some years ago, and was much bewitched by its quaint charm. 
I grieve to say that I do not possess it; but an old friend and 
florist the Rev. H. T. Ellacombe was good enough to lend 
me his copy for reference, and to him I wrote for the meaning 
of the title. But his scholarship, and that of other learned 
friends, was quite at fault. My old friend's youthful energies 
(he will permit me to say that he is ninety-four) were not satis- 
fied to rust in ignorance, and he wrote to Notes and Queries on 
the subject, and has been twice answered. It is an absurd play 
upon words, after the fashion of John Parkinson's day. Para- 
dise, as AUNT -JUDY'S readers may know, is originally an East- 
ern word, meaning a park, or pleasure ground. I am ashamed 
to say that the knowledge of this fact did not help me to the 
pun. Paradisi in sole Paradisus terrestris means Park in 

son's Earthly Paradise ! 

J. H. E., February, 1884. 

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